1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers
> 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river
2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes
(e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
Reims (/riːmz/; also spelled Rheims; French: [ʁɛ̃s]), a city
Grand Est region of France, lies 129 km (80 mi)
east-northeast of Paris. The 2013 census recorded 182,592 inhabitants
(Rémoises (feminine) and Rémois (masculine)) in the city of Reims
proper (the commune), and 317,611 inhabitants in the metropolitan area
(aire urbaine). Its river, the Vesle, is a tributary of the Aisne.
Founded by the Gauls, it became a major city during the period of the
Reims played a prominent ceremonial role in French
monarchical history as the traditional site of the crowning of the
kings of France. The Cathedral of
Reims (damaged by the
First World War
First World War but restored since) housed the Holy Ampulla
(Sainte Ampoule) containing the Saint Chrême (chrism), allegedly
brought by a white dove (the Holy Spirit) at the baptism of Clovis in
496. It was used for the anointing, the most important part of the
coronation of French kings.
3.1 Streets and squares
3.3 Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Reims
3.4 Palace of Tau
3.7 Monument to the Black Army of Reims
3.8 Other buildings
8 Notable residents
9 Higher education
10 International relations
10.1 Twin towns – sister cities
11 See also
14 External links
Reims functions as a subprefecture of the department of Marne, in the
administrative region of Grand Est. Although
Reims is by far the
largest commune in its department,
Châlons-en-Champagne is the
See also: Timeline of Reims
For the ecclesiastical history, see Archbishopric of Reims.
Saint Remigius, Bishop of Reims, begging of Clovis the restitution of
the Sacred Vase taken by the Franks in the pillage of Soissons. —
Costumes of the court of Burgundy in the 15th century. — Facsimile
of a miniature in a manuscript of the History of the Emperors (Library
of the Arsenal).
A month after Blériot's crossing of the English Channel in a biplane,
the aviation week in
Reims (August 1909) caught special attention.
Before the Roman conquest of northern Gaul, Reims, founded circa
80 BC as *Durocorteron ("round fortress"; in Latin:
Durocortōrum), served as the capital of the tribe of the
whose name the town would subsequently echo. In the course of Julius
Caesar's conquest of
Gaul (58–51 BC), the
themselves with the Romans, and by their fidelity throughout the
various Gallic insurrections secured the special favour of the
imperial power. At its height in Roman times the city had a population
in the range of 30,000 - 50,000 or perhaps up to 100,000.
Christianity had become established in the city by 260, at which
Sixtus of Reims founded the bishopric of Reims. The
consul Jovinus, an influential supporter of the new faith, repelled
Alamanni who invaded Champagne in 336; but the
the city in 406 and slew Bishop Nicasius; and in 451 Attila the Hun
Reims to fire and sword.
In 496 – ten years after Clovis, King of the Salian Franks, won his
Soissons (486) — Remigius, the bishop of Reims, baptized
him using the oil of the sacred phial – purportedly brought from
heaven by a dove for the baptism of Clovis and subsequently preserved
in the Abbey of Saint-Remi. For centuries the events at the crowning
Clovis I became a symbol used by the monarchy to claim the divine
right to rule.
Pope Stephen II
Pope Stephen II (752–757) with Pepin the Short, and of
Pope Leo III (795–816) with
Charlemagne (died 814), took place at
Reims; and here
Pope Stephen IV
Pope Stephen IV crowned Louis the Debonnaire in 816.
Louis IV gave the city and countship of
Reims to the archbishop
Artaldus in 940. Louis VII (reigned 1137–1180) gave the title of
duke and peer to William of Champagne, archbishop from 1176 to 1202,
and the archbishops of
Reims took precedence over the other
ecclesiastical peers of the realm.
By the 10th century
Reims had become a centre of intellectual culture.
Archbishop Adalberon (in office 969 to 988), seconded by the monk
Gerbert (afterwards (from 999 to 1003) Pope Silvester II), founded
schools which taught the classical "liberal arts". (Adalberon also
played a leading role in the dynastic revolution which elevated the
Capetian dynasty in the place of the Carolingians.)
The archbishops held the important prerogative of the consecration of
the kings of
France – a privilege which they exercised (except in a
few cases) from the time of Philippe II
Augustus (anointed 1179,
reigned 1180–1223) to that of Charles X (anointed 1825). Louis VII
granted the city a communal charter in 1139. The Treaty of Troyes
(1420) ceded it to the English, who had made a futile attempt to take
it by siege in 1360; but French patriots expelled them on the approach
of Joan of Arc, who in 1429 had Charles VII consecrated in the
cathedral. Louis XI cruelly suppressed a revolt at Reims, caused in
1461 by the salt tax. During the
French Wars of Religion
French Wars of Religion the city
sided with the Catholic League (1585), but submitted to Henri IV after
the battle of Ivry (1590).
In the invasions of the
War of the Sixth Coalition
War of the Sixth Coalition in 1814,
anti-Napoleonic allied armies captured and re-captured Reims; in
1870–1871, during the Franco-Prussian War, the victorious Germans
made it the seat of a governor-general and impoverished it with heavy
In August 1909
Reims hosted the first international aviation meet, the
Grande Semaine d'Aviation de la Champagne. Major aviation personages
such as Glenn Curtiss,
Louis Blériot and
Louis Paulhan participated.
World War I
World War I greatly damaged the city. German
bombardment and a subsequent fire in 1914 did severe damage to the
cathedral. The ruined cathedral became one of the central images of
anti-German propaganda produced in
France during the war, which
presented it, along with the ruins of the Cloth Hall at
Ypres and the
University Library in Louvain, as evidence that German aggression
targeted cultural landmarks of European civilization.
German surrender of 7 May 1945 in Reims.
(Top) – German officers sign unconditional surrender in Reims.
(Bottom) – Allied force leaders at the signing.
From the end of
World War I
World War I to the present day[update] an
international effort to restore the cathedral from the ruins has
continued. The Palace of Tau, St Jacques Church and the Abbey of St
Remi also were protected[by whom?] and restored. The collection of
preserved buildings and Roman ruins remains monumentally impressive.
Interior of St Jacques, 1907.
World War II
World War II the city suffered additional damage. But in Reims,
at 2:41 on the morning of 7 May 1945, General Eisenhower and the
Allies received the unconditional surrender of the German Wehrmacht.
General Alfred Jodl, German Chief-of-Staff, signed the surrender at
the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) as the
representative for German President Karl Dönitz.
The British statesman
Leslie Hore-Belisha died of a cerebral
haemorrhage while making a speech at the
Reims hôtel de ville (city
hall) in February 1957.
Façade of Notre-Dame de Reims
Streets and squares
Place Drouet d'Erlon in Reims
The principal squares of
Reims include the Place Royale, with a statue
of Louis XV, and the Place Cardinal-Luçon, with an equestrian statue
of Joan of Arc. The Rue de Vesle, the main commercial street
(continued under other names), traverses the city from southwest to
northeast, passing through the Place Royale. Restaurants and bars are
concentrated around Place Drouet d'Erlon in the city centre.
The oldest monument in Reims, the
Porte de Mars
Porte de Mars ("Mars Gate", so
called from a temple to Mars in the neighbourhood), a triumphal arch
108 feet in length by 43 in height, consists of three archways flanked
by columns. Popular tradition tells that the
Remi erected it in honour
Augustus when Agrippa made the great roads terminating at the city,
but it probably belongs to the 3rd or 4th century. The Mars Gate was
one of 4 Roman gates to the city walls, which were restored[by whom?]
at the time of the Norman Invasion of northern
France in the 9th
century. In its vicinity a curious mosaic, measuring 36 feet by 26,
with thirty-five medallions representing animals and gladiators, was
discovered in 1860.
Note too the
Gallo-Roman sarcophagus, allegedly that of the
4th-century consul Jovinus, preserved in the archaeological museum in
the cloister of the abbey of Saint-Remi.
Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Reims
Main article: Notre-Dame de Reims
Douay-Rheims Bible (1582)
Interior of Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Reims
Many people know
Reims for its cathedral, Notre-Dame de Reims,
formerly the place of coronation of the kings of France. The cathedral
World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site in 1991, along with the former
Abbey of Saint-
Remi and the Palace of Tau.
Palace of Tau
Main article: Palace of Tau
The archiepiscopal palace, built between 1498 and 1509, and in part
rebuilt in 1675, served as the residence of the kings of
France on the
occasion of their coronations. The salon (salle du Tau), where the
royal banquet took place, has an immense stone chimney that dates from
the 15th century. The chapel of the archiepiscopal palace consists of
two storeys, of which the upper still (as of 2009[update]) serves as a
place of worship. Both the chapel and the salle du Tau have decorative
tapestries of the 17th century, known as the Perpersack tapestries,
after the Flemish weaver who executed them. The palace opened to the
public in 1972 as a museum containing such exhibits as statues
formerly displayed by the cathedral, treasures of the cathedral from
past centuries, and royal attire from coronations of French kings.
Basilica St. Remi
Remi Basilica, about a mile from the Cathedral of Notre Dame of
Reims, takes its name from the fifth-century Saint Remi, revered as
the patron saint of the inhabitants of
Reims for more than fifteen
centuries. The basilica approaches the cathedral in size. Adjacent to
the basilica stands an important abbey, formerly known as the Royal
Abbey of St Remi. The abbey sought to trace its heritage back to St
Remi, while the present abbey building dates back to the 17th and 18th
Basilica dates from the 11th, 12th, 13th and 15th
centuries. Most of the construction of the church finished in the 11th
century, with additions made later. The nave and transepts, Gothic in
style, date mainly from the earliest, the façade of the south
transept from the latest of those periods, the choir and apse chapels
from the 12th and 13th centuries. The 17th and 19th centuries saw
further additions. The building suffered greatly in World War I, and
the meticulous restoration work of architect Henri Deneux (fr)
rebuilt it from its ruins over the following 40 years. As of
2009[update] it remains the seat of an active Catholic parish holding
regular worship services and welcoming pilgrims. It has been
classified as an historical monument since 1841 and is one of the
pinnacles of the history of art and of the history of France.
Several royal and archepiscopal figures lie buried in the basilica,
but in unidentified graves. They include:
Carloman King of the Franks (751–771; reigned 768–771), the
brother of Charlemagne
Frederonne (died 917), wife of Charles III (879–929)
Gerberga of Saxony
Gerberga of Saxony (910–984), wife of Louis IV (King of Western
Francia from 936 to 954)
Henri d'Orléans (died about 1653)
Lothair I, (941–986), King of Western Francia from 954 to 986
Louis IV (King of Western Francia from 936 to 954)
Basilica St. Remi
The public can visit the abbey building, now[update] the Saint-Remi
Museum. The abbey closed in the wake of the
French Revolution (the
government had all French monasteries dissolved in February 1790). The
museum exhibits include tapestries from the 16th century donated by
the archbishop Robert de Lenoncourt (uncle of the cardinal of the same
name), marble capitals from the fourth century AD, furniture,
jewellery, pottery, weapons and glasswork from the sixth to eighth
centuries, medieval sculpture, the façade of the 13th-century
musicians' House, remnants from an earlier abbey building, and also
Gallo-Roman arts and crafts and a room of pottery,
jewellery and weapons from Gallic civilization, as well as an exhibit
of items from the Palaeolithic to the Neolithic periods.
Another section of the museum features a permanent military
In 1874 the construction of a chain of detached forts started in the
French Army having selected
Reims as one of the chief
defences of the northern approaches to Paris. Atop the ridge of St
Thierry stands a fort of the same name, which with the neighbouring
work of Chenay closes the west side of the place. To the north the
Brimont has three works guarding the
Laon railway and the
Aisne canal. Farther east, on the old Roman road, stands the
Fresnes. Due east, the hills of Arnay are crowned with five large and
important works which cover the approaches from the upper Aisne. Fort
de la Pompelle, which hosts a
World War I
World War I museum featuring a rich
collection of German uniforms, and
Montbré close the southeast side,
and the Falaise hills on the southwest are open and unguarded. The
perimeter of the defences measures just under 22 miles, and the forts
are at a mean distance of 6 miles (10 km) from the centre of the
Monument to the Black Army of Reims
The original monument was erected in 1924 where the Boulevard Henry
Vasnier meets the Avenue du Général Giraud. The first stone was
placed by André Maginot, Minister of War on 29 October 1922. This
ceremony was also addressed by Blaise Diagne, the Senegalese political
leader. In July 1924 the monument was inaugurated with a Military and
Sports fete presided over by Édouard Daladier, the Minister of the
Louis Archinard was the president of the committee
that supervised the erection of the monument, highlighting the role of
African troops of the 1st Colonial Infantry Corps in the defense of
Reims from the German Army in 1918. They were particularly renowned
for their tenacious defence of
Fort de la Pompelle. 10,000 people
attended the fete which was held immediately following the
inauguration. The original monument, consisting of five figures, was a
replica of a similar monument erected in Bamako,
Mali in January 1924.
The monument was dismantled during the German occupation in September
1940. In September 1958, on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary
of the Defence of Reims, a new monument was started. This was
completed in time for a second inauguration ceremony on 6 October
1963, with Pierre Messmer, Minister of Armies, Jean Sainteny, Minister
of veterans, Jacques Foccart, secretary general of the Communauté et
les affaires africaines et malgaches, and General Georges Catroux,
grand chancellor of the Légion d'honneur. In 2008, on the occasion of
the ninetieth anniversary of the defence of Reims, a major ceremony
was held in remembrance of the Black Army of Reims, attended by
Rama Yade and Adeline Hazan.
See also: Château de Condé
Paris door, Reims
Reims in 1916
The Church of St Jacques dates from the 13th to the 16th centuries. A
few blocks from the cathedral, it stands as of 2009[update] in a
neighborhood of shopping and restaurants. What remains of the Abbey of
St. Denis has become a Fine Arts Museum. The old College of the
Jesuits also survives as a museum. The churches of St Maurice (partly
rebuilt in 1867), St André, and St Thomas (erected from 1847 to 1853,
under the patronage of Cardinal Gousset, now buried within its walls)
also draw tourists.
Temple protestant de Reims
Temple protestant de Reims was designed by
Charles Letrosne in a
flamboyant neo-Gothic style. Originally the walls were lavishly
Art Deco style by Gustave Louis Jaulmes, but in 1973 the
walls were painted white, giving an austere appearance.
Foujita Chapel (1966), designed and decorated by the Japanese
School of Paris
School of Paris artist Tsuguharu Foujita, became famed for its
frescos. It was listed as an historic monument in 1992.
The city hall (hôtel de ville), erected in the 17th century and
enlarged in the 19th, features a pediment with an equestrian statue of
Louis XIII (reigned 1610 to 1643).
The Surrender Museum is the building in which on 7 May 1945, General
Eisenhower and the Allies received the unconditional surrender of the
The Carnegie library, the former public library built with money
Andrew Carnegie to the city of
Reims after World War I, is
a remarkable example of
Art Deco in France.
Reims is served by two main railway stations:
Gare de Reims
Gare de Reims in the
city centre, the hub for regional transport, and the new Gare de
Champagne-Ardenne TGV 5 kilometres (3 miles) southwest of the city
with high-speed rail connections to Paris, Metz, Nancy and Strasbourg.
The motorways A4 (Paris-Strasbourg), A26 (Calais-Langres) and A34
intersect near Reims.
Public transport within the city consists of buses and a tramway, the
latter opened in 2011.
Reims, along with
Épernay and Ay, functions as one of the centres of
champagne production. Many of the largest champagne-producing houses,
known as les grandes marques, have their headquarters in Reims, and
most open for tasting and tours. Champagne ages in the many caves and
tunnels under Reims, which form a sort of maze below the city. Carved
from chalk, some of these passages date back to Roman times.
Climate data for
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)
Average snowy days
Average relative humidity (%)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Between 1925 and 1969
Reims hosted the Grand Prix de la Marne
automobile race at the circuit of Reims-Gueux. The French Grand Prix
took place here 14 times between 1938 and 1966.
As of 2016[update] the football club Stade Reims, based in the city,
competed in the Ligue 1, the first-highest tier of French football.
Stade Reims became the outstanding team of
France in the 1950s and
early 1960s and reached the final of the European Cup of Champions
twice in that era.
The city has hosted the
Reims Marathon since 1984.
Those born in
Adolphe d'Archiac (1802–1868), geologist and paleontologist
Jean Baudrillard (1929–2007), cultural theorist and philosopher
Nicolas Bergier (1567-1623), scholar of Roman roads
Roger Caillois (1913–1978), intellectual
Jean-Baptiste Colbert (1619–1683), French minister of finance from
1665 to 1683 during the reign of King Louis XIV
Eugène Courmeaux (fr) (1817–1902), librarian of Reims, fervent
Jean-Baptiste Drouet, Count d'Erlon
Jean-Baptiste Drouet, Count d'Erlon (1765–1844), marshal of France
and a soldier in Napoleon's army
Fort (1872–1960), poet
Nicolas Eugène Géruzez (1799–1865), critic
Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (born 1992), world champion cyclist
Nicolas de Grigny
Nicolas de Grigny (1672–1703), organist and composer
Maurice Halbwachs (1877–1945), philosopher and sociologist
Jean Lévesque de Burigny (1692-1785), historian
Marie-Claire Jamet (born 1933), classical harpist
Guillaume de Machaut
Guillaume de Machaut (1300–1377), composer and poet (Machaut was
most likely born in
Reims or nearby, and spent most of his adult life
Henri Marteau (1874–1934), violinist and composer
Merolilan of Rheims, Irish cleric
Olivier Métra (1830–1889), composer, conductor
Maurice Pézard (1876–1923), archaeologist and assyriologist
Robert Pirès (born 1973), World Cup winner, footballer for Arsenal
and for Villarreal CF
Patrick Poivre d'Arvor
Patrick Poivre d'Arvor (born 1947), television journalist and writer
Jean-Baptiste de la Salle
Jean-Baptiste de la Salle (1651–1719), Catholic saint, teacher and
Jules de Saint-Pol (1810-1855), general
Émile Senart (1847–1928), indologist
Adeline Wuillème (born 8 December 1975), foil fencer
The URCA (University of
Reims Champagne-ArdenneUniversité de Reims
Champagne-Ardenne) was created in 1548. This multidisciplinary
university develops innovative, fundamental and applied research. It
provides more than 18 000 students in
Reims (22 000 in
Champagne-Ardenne) with a wide initial undergraduate studies program
which corresponds to society's needs in all domains of the knowledge.
The university also accompanies independent or company backed students
in continuing professional development training. The Institut d'Etudes
politiques de Paris, the leading French university in social and
political sciences, also known as Sciences Po, opened a new campus in
the Collège des Jésuites de Reims (fr) in 2010. This
Euro-American campus will welcome more than 1500 students in 2015.
In 2012 the first
Model United Nations
Model United Nations was launched, which
gathered 200 international students from all the Sciences Po campuses.
Daniel Rondeau, the ambassador of
UNESCO and a French
writer, is the patron of the event. NEOMA Business School (former
Reims Management School) is also one of the main schools in Reims.
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in France
Twin towns – sister cities
Reims is twinned with:
Florence, Italy (1954)
Republic of the Congo
Republic of the Congo (1961)
Canterbury, United Kingdom (1962)
Aachen, Germany (1967)
Arlington County, Virginia, United States (2005)
Czech Republic (2008)
Archbishop of Reims
Battle of Reims
Biscuit rose de Reims
Champagne (wine region)
Reims Aviation (aircraft-maker)
^ "Reims," entry in Nouveau petit Larousse, 1971, p. 1638.
^ de Planhol, X.; Claval, P. (1994). An Historical Geography of
France. Cambridge University Press. p. 47.
ISBN 9780521322089. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
^ "Le monument à l'Armée noire de Reims" (in French). Retrieved 11
^ Guttinger, Philippe (2015). "Le temple protestant de Reims".
Retrieved 4 July 2015.
^ "French Culture Ministry: listing of the Foujita chapel".
culture.gouv.fr. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
^ "Normes et records 1961-1990: Reims-Champagne (51) - altitude 91m"
(in French). Infoclimat. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
^ Oxford Music Online
^ "Welcome Sciences Po - College Universitaire de
Reims - Campus
Euro-Américain". college.sciences-po.fr. Retrieved 10 October
^ "British towns twinned with French towns [via WaybackMachine.com]".
Archant Community Media Ltd. Archived from the original on 5 July
2013. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
Canterbury City Council – Twinning contacts. Retrieved on 14
October 2009[permanent dead link]. Canterbury.gov.uk (1 March 2011).
Retrieved on 25 August 2011.
^ Calderdale Council (2013). "Aachen: Twin towns: Calderdale Council".
calderdale.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 28 September 2013.
Retrieved 2 January 2013.
^ en-db (2013). "Aachen, Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany –
City, Town and Village of the world". en.db-city.com. Retrieved 3
This article incorporates text from a publication now in
the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Reims".
Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
See also: Bibliography of the history of Reims
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Reims.
Official website (in French)
Tourist office website – Official site for L'Office de Tourisme de
Reims, (in English), (in French)
Sciences Po Paris
Sciences Po Paris – Euro-American campus of Reims
Reims Model United Nations
Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc and The
Coronation Of Charles VII in Reims
Joan of Arc's first letter to
Reims — translation by Allen
Williamson of the letter dictated by
Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc to the city of Reims
on 5 August 1429.
Joan of Arc's second letter to
Reims — letter dictated by Joan of
Arc to the city of
Reims on 16 March 1430, translated by Allen
Communes of the department of
ISNI: 0000 0001 2160 0409