Reims

Reims
.

The Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Former Abbey of Saint-Remi and Palace of Tau, Reims are renowned for their Gothic art and - as part of the coronation ceremony - are directly linked to the history of the French monarchy.

The cathedral is one of the great French cathedrals of the 13th century and one of the masterpieces of the classical Gothic style (along with the ones in Chartres and Amiens). The facade of the Reims cathedral is said to have the best sculptures.

The old archepiscopal Palace of Tau also played an important step role in the coronation ceremony of the French monarchy (the banquet was held there).

The Former Abbey of Saint-Remi has conserved the relics of Saint Remi (died 553), the Bishop of Reims who converted Clovis, King of the Franks, to Christianity. The abbey church is a magnificent example of mediaeval architecture.

Reims, including these World Heritage monuments, was seriously damaged by the Germans during World War I.

Map of Reims

Load map
Els

Visit November 2006, May 2015

The exterior of the Notre Dame cathedral was undergoing restoration at the time of my first visit (2006). Weather and pollution have taken their toll on this building: large parts of the façade (with the pretty sculptures) are blackened and dirty. The large square in front of the cathedral also is under construction. Maybe the best overall view on the Notre Dame I had from my hotel room window: I could see it bathe in the last streams of sun in the late afternoon and brightly enlightened in the night.

November 2006, May 2015

The interior of the cathedral however is open to visitors every day. It was rather dark inside, because of the mostly cloudy weather. The famous stained glass windows (some relatively recent additions made by Marc Chagall, see 2nd pic) were like stars in the evening sky. There's also a pretty statue of Jeanne d'Arc in the far left corner.

It turned out that I hadn't chosen the best date to visit these French monuments: November 11 is celebrated as a National Holiday (Armistice Day). The Palais du Tau was closed, as was the Abbey of Saint Remi. Both are museums now, and I would have liked a look inside in both monumental buildings.

November 2006, May 2015

On my second visit I focused on the Palais du Tau. I had a quick look inside the cathedral first, and again the stained glass windows were what amazed me. The facade is still (or again?) under construction, about half of it looks cleaned now.

The Palais du Tau lies next to the Cathedral. It now is a museum, holding items related to the cathedral and the coronations. The building itself is pretty modernized, and not too interesting. What I did enjoy were the many sculptures taken from the cathedral: here you can see how huge they are. The museum also holds the original pediment of the cathedral's central portal.

November 2006, May 2015

I still did not make it to the Former Abbey of Saint-Remi, which is now a museum with limited opening hours

Community Reviews

Write a review


Ilya Burlak

USA - 24-Jan-19 -

Reims by Ilya Burlak

My visit to Reims took place nearly a decade ago, but the buildings recognized on this site's inscription have stood for centuries, so I expect that my impressions remain relevant.

Notre-Dame de Reims, along with nearby archbishop’s palace (called Tau Palace), are inscribed on UNESCO list both for the architectural merit and for historical significance. The great church is among the most magnificent cathedrals in Christendom, well worth a dedicated visit even if you don't see anything else in town. The present structure dates from the 13th century and have been extensively restored after the damage sustained during World War I. The original seat of Archdiocese of Reims existed on this site since the 5th century, when the most famous of Archbishops, Saint Rémi, first anointed a king of Franks, which gave rise to the ceremony that lasted through almost the entire history of the French monarchy.

The interior of the cathedral is light and airy, and the stained glass is positively sparkling, no doubt partially due to the aforementioned comparatively recent restoration efforts.

For whatever reason, Tau Palace did not leave a lasting impression with me, although the audio-guide provided plenty of historic perspective.

Beyond the UNESCO site, central Reims is pleasant to stroll around and not without eye-catching architecture. And, of course, this is Champagne - including a visit to cellars around town is among the musts when in area.

Read more from Ilya Burlak here.


Tsunami

Japan / USA / Poland - 05-Feb-17 -

Reims by Tsunami

I'm not sure how many people here visit the same WHSs again and again, but I seem to be one of them.

This was my second time in Reims, but this time I actually went back for Champagne.

The photo shows how the Reims Cathedral looks like today. There is no scaffolding, but the fact that the top of the church is still dark means that they have not completely cleaned it yet. So we can still expect the scaffolding to reappear at some point.

After seeing this cathedral again, I walked all the way to the Taittinger Chanpagne Cellar, not knowing which bus to take to the Cellar.

While waiting for my tour at the Cellar, I bought a croissant and a cup of coffee at a bakery and walked for a few blocks to the St. Remi Abbey, another part of this WHS, to have breakfast at the square in front of the church.

Read more from Tsunami here.


Hubert

Austria - 12-Feb-16 -

Reims by Hubert Scharnagl

Reims is one of the major Gothic cathedrals and a memorial site of French history, for centuries the French kings were crowned in Reims. The most striking feature of the exterior is the shape of the stocky towers, the originally planned spires were never completed. The restoration of the western façade is still ongoing (September 2015), currently the central portal and the rose window are under scaffolding, but the other parts are bright and clean again. The cathedral is famous for the sculptural decoration at the façade and in the interior. The facial expression and gestures of the sculptures are striking, most notably the Smiling Angel at the western portal.

But I was most attracted by the stained glass windows by Marc Chagall. Actually, I have no particular fondness for Chagall paintings, but his style is perfect for church windows. It is a wonderful harmony between modern drawing and the ‘medieval shades’ of blue, red and green. I have previously seen his stained glass in Mainz, Zürich and Metz, but the windows in Reims have impressed me most.

The neighboring Palais du Tau is also part of the WHS. The palace is associated with the coronation ceremonies, today the building houses the treasury of the cathedral, tapestries and some original sculptures of the cathedral. Not really exciting, we went rather quickly through the rooms.

The third part of the WHS, the Abbey of Saint-Remi, is worth a visit. It is located in the outskirts of Reims, near the Champagne Houses. The dimensions of the abbey church would be worthy of a cathedral. The church was built on the grave of the Saint Remi and the tomb in the choir dominates the interior until today (photo). I liked the interior even more than the cathedral: the plain and unadorned nave, the arcades with round arches and the slender columns.

Reims is a worthwhile destination for WHS enthusiasts: two WHS in the city, two sites of the Santiago de Compostela WHS and numerous WWI memorials (TWHS) in the vicinity. However, I found the city not very attractive, apart from the WHS there was nothing typical and distinctive, many cities on our trip through northern France were far more interesting and charming.


Jarek Pokrzywnicki

Poland - 28-Jul-15 -

Reims by Jarek Pokrzywnicki

Just visited (July, 2015). Currently the cathedral is under restoration (scaffoldings hide rosette of main portal). Located nearby the Palace of Tau is closed on Mondays but it is possible to visit the Museum of Saint Remy (former Abbey of Saint Remy, also part of UNESCO heritage).

As in most of French churches the entrance to the cathedral (and St Remy basilica) is free of charge, although for the museum you should buy a ticket (if wanted to see interior of former abbey - worth visiting).


Clyde

Malta - 02-Jun-13 -

Reims by Clyde

I visited this WHS in June 2013. The cathedral's spiritual, religious and historical importance justifies it being on the list. Here, General de Gaulle and Chancellor Adenauer set the seal on reconciliation between France and Germany on 8th July 1962. The Former Abbey of Saint-Rémi did not impress me as a site of universal value while the Palace of Tau gave me a more in-depth overall experience. The sound and light show is really the cherry on the cake and is much better than the one organised in Strasbourg.


Klaus Freisinger

Austria -

Reims is one of the most important cities in French history, and if you are only slightly interested in this subject (maybe slightly confusing but very interesting), then this city is a must. It was the site of over 30 coronations of kings of France, beginning with Frankish leader Clovis (Chlodwig) being christened by bishop Remigius (Rémy) in the 5th century, becoming the first Christian king of France. The cathedral is a real masterpiece of Gothic art from the 13th century, and the former palace of the archbishops, the Palace of Tau, merits a visit as well. The basilica of St-Rémy contains Rémy's tomb and a collection of fascinating 12th-century stained glass windows. There's also a cryptoporticus, showing remains of the Roman Forum. All in all, a fascinating place to visit and very important historically, architecturally, culturally, and religiously.


Site Info

Full Name
Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Former Abbey of Saint-Remi and Palace of Tau, Reims
Unesco ID
601
Country
France
Inscribed
1991
Type
Cultural
Criteria
1 2 6
Categories
Religious structure - Christian
Link
By ID

Site History

1991 Revision

extended from former TWHS Reims cathedral (1984)

1991 Inscribed

Locations

The site has 2 locations

Reims: Ancienne abbaye Saint-Rémi et palais de Tau
Reims: Cathédrale - Notre Dame

The Cathedral and the Palais du Tau are right in the city center of Reims, a sizeable city in the North East of France. The Abbey of Saint-Remi lies some 25 minutes walk south of the other two locations.

Connections

The site has

Architecture
Constructions
Damaged
History
Individual People
Religion and Belief
Timeline
Trivia
WHS Hotspots
World Heritage Process

Visitors

Community Members have visited.

A. Mehmet Haksever Aalberty Adrian Lakomy Aitia Alberto Rodriguez Gutierrez Alessandro Votta Alex Pflugfelder Alexander Barabanov Alexander Lehmann Alfons and Riki Verstraeten Ali Zingstra AndreaTLV Andreas Thum AndreasThum Anna Wludarska AnnaRt Argo Arjan Artur Anuszewski Ashley Waddell Atila Ege Aurelien Drilant-Abenascad Balazs Szücs Bauchat Bertrand Bin Bob Finnie Bob Parda Bob pateman Boj Boroka Szamosi Bosswench Braza Brigitte Huber Buffy Buzz Carlos Aniés Carlos Garrido Caspar Dechmann Celine Gramlich Chenboada Cheryl Christer Sundberg Christian Wagner Christine Swanson Claire Bradshaw Clyde Colossus Corinne Vail Craig Harder Dachangjin3 Dani Cyr Daniela Hohmann David Aaronson & Melanie Stowell David Berlanda David Gee Dgjohansson Diane Murphy Dibro Dimitar Krastev Dirk-pieter Donald M Parrish Jr Doug Robertson Dsch2oman@me.com ERIC ZHOU Echwel Edward Elaine McArdle Elia Vettorato Eliazer Cohen Ellen Nielsen Els Slots Emilia Enid M-C Enrique Clemente Eric Lorentz Erik Jelinek Errol Neo Eva Kisgyorgy Evajuk F_Teno Fabi-ddorf Fabian Teusch Fabienne Famalubel Fan Yibo Feldhase Femke Roos Filip Dostal Filip Murlak Filippo Ubaldi Fool79 Frank Frederik Dawson G. ingraham G.L. Ingraham Garellos Gary Arndt Garyrjtaylor George Evangelou George Gdanski Gernot Gi Gonçalo Elias GrendelGongan Gretell Scott Grzegorz Andruszkiewicz Hadrianus Haining Guan Hannes Muehlbacher Harald T. Homadism Hubert I&W Rohde Iain Jackson Ian Cade Ian Coldwell Ilya Burlak Ingemar Eriksson Ivan Rucek Jakob Frenzel Jan Zimmermann Jan-Willem Jarek Pokrzywnicki Jaroslav Klement Javier Coro Jean Lecaillon Jean-Philippe Platroz Jeanne OGrady Jenni Jens Jgera Jianhui Song Joel Baldwin John booth Johnson Zhao Jonas Hagung Jonas Kremer Jonathanfr Jos Schmitz Jose Antonio Collar Joyce van Soest Judit Dalla Judith Tanner Julianna Lees Jun Zhou Jurgen Stevens Kai Thorben Kasienka5 Kati Drimmer Kbecq Kevin247 Klaus Freisinger Krijn Lantian Lara Adler Lars Gunnar Gardo Leontine Helleman Liang Zhou Lindsay Hasluck Lisa Lois Dekker Lorenzo Mejino Louis Luciano Imperadori Lut & Theo MAURO PODDA MBennett Maarten Hoek Maciej Gowin Maddie Reeves Majkl20 Malgorzata Kopczynska Marcel Benard Marianna Marie Morlon Markassonne Markus Marlies van Wolfswinkel Marta Lempert Matejicek Mathieu Matthewsharris MaxHeAnou Maxine Eisenberg Michael Andersson Michael Novins Michiel Dekker Miguel Gallego Miguel Marchi Mike Harper Mikko Milan Jirasek Mkprescott Morodhi Myra Lynn Gilig Nan Nathalie Goldberg Nelson O Ng Tsu Jin Nicole Kilian Nihal Ege Olivier MONGIN Olli-Pekka Turunen PabloNorte Parrot Pascal Cauliez Patphilly Patrick Matgen Patriks Patty Verhoeven Paul Chatterton Paul Schofield Payen de La Garanderie Isabelle Peter Day Peter Loov PeterA PeterH Peterhorst6974 Petteri Philip T.K. Philipp Peterer Pierre T Pieter Dijkshoorn Piotr Sebastian Sikon Randi Thomsen Reza Roberta MacRae Roberto Diaz Roel Sterken Roger Ourset Roman Koeln Roman Raab Rswood Sabrina Liebehentschel Sandersx2 Sazanami Sergio Arjona Shandos Cleaver Shijie ZHU Shirley Xue Simon Penton Slava Solivagant Stacie Yeldell Stacy Stanislaw Warwas Stefan A. Michelfeit Stefan and Mia Stijn Sue hayton Sun_jianyuan@me.com Super-Sophie Svermeulen Szucs Tamas Tamara Ratz Tammy Gouldstone Teresa J. Wilkin Tevity Thibault Magnien Thijs van den Berg Thomas Buechler Thomas cahalan Thomasvdw Tkinou Tonioto Tony Crouch Travel Addicts Trevni Tsunami ValiaVeweth Van Hung Vanessa Buechler Veronika Vaclavek Vladimir Voyager WILLIAM RICH Walter Walter H. Wang Qin Werner Huber Willem van Altena Wojciech Fedoruk Wolfgang Hlousa WolfgangHl Xiao Zehuan Yuri Samozvanov Zlatko Rihter