Reims / Rheims
Épernay, Châlons-sur-Marne et Sedan





Noble Dauphin, ne tenez pas davantage tous ces conseils,
si nombreux et si longs,
venez donc au plus vite à Reims
prendre la couronne à laquelle vous avez droit

Loches - 11 Mai 1429)


Reims search
Link slow to load 
but worth the wait

Does one not have to talk about Reims in hushed tones ? -- Names come to mind, like Bishop Remigius {Saint Remi [Rémy]}, Evêque de Reims {Rheims}, Apostle of the Franks. Rémy baptized Clovis, France's first Roi (on Christmas day 496AD) after the King is persuaded by Sainte Clotilde, his Queen. The crowning place of many other kings, sanctified (set apart) to rule, under Divine Grace. Archbishop Turpin (whose seat of power (See) was in Reims in the 8th century) gives communion to Roland, while the treacherous Saracen king Marsilies looks on as pictured in the Reims Cathedral. Sainte Jeanne was here too, alongside Charles VII, 'though the first Bourbon was not (the coronation for him took place at Chartres). Sparkling crown jewel of the Champagne, a region further consecrated by the blood of two World Wars in the last century. It was in Reims, at 2:41 on the morning of May 7, 1945, General Eisenhower and the Allies received the unconditional surrender of the Nazi's 1000 year reich. Ancien couvent des Jacobins

Porte de MarsBefore the Roman conquest, Reims (Durocortorum) was capital of the Rémi. The Rémi made voluntary submission to the Romans, and by their fidelity throughout the various Gallic insurrections, did secure the special favour from the conquerors. Christianity arrived in the town by the middle of the 3rd century. The first church on the "cathedral" site is believed to have been built about the year 300, in a city that already had been occupied by the Romans for 100's of years. A new cathedral structure arose under Bishop Nicasius around 400. Soon after, he was martyred by Vandals. Still later, Atilla paid a visit, burning the town to the ground.

A rebuilding of the cathedral was completed about 862, but that edifice was destroyed in a fire in 1210. The foundation stone of the present building was placed the following year. Construction extended over 30 years, although many of the decorations and furnishings were added over the next two centuries. The new structure exhibits the marriage of architectural techniques new in the 13th century, and the harmonious blending of sculptural decoration with architecture function. This has made Notre-Dame in Reims one of the masterpieces of Gothic art. The building has suffered the ravages of war and time. Although most of the original pieces of stained glass have been replaced with clear glass, a few of the windows have been restored. Several others have been redone with modern designs. The windows in the last chapel to the rear of the cathedral, for example, were designed in 1974 by French artist Marc Chagall. http://worldheritage.heindorffhus.dk/frame-FranceReims.htm

The region was contested by nearly everyone for hundreds of years, with two major wars fought there in the 20th Century alone; but, let us talk about viticulture. The Aisne River Valley, between Reims and Soissons, is considered the historic champagne area. Champagne is a sparkling wine produced by inducing the in-bottle secondary fermentation of the wine to effect carbonation. While many regions in France and elsewhere utilize this method, only a limited production area within the Champagne region (five wine producing districts), may legally use the name Champagne. Champagnes, also, must be made from certain kinds of grapes. They can be made from white Chardonnay grapes, red Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier grapes (principal fruit types). Then, there are different names that depend on the sweetness, Brut being the most dry (least sweet) and Doux, having the most sugar added. Because of the worldwide demand, 40 more areas (located in four départments) in the region are proposed for an addition to the Appelation. Much more: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vin_de_Champagne, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Champagne_(wine) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Champagne_(wine_region). Reims was the endpoint for Stage 4 of the Tour de France 2010.

The second capital of Champagne, Épernay (Sparnacum), just a few miles away from Reims. belonged to the archbishops of Reims from the 5th until the 10th century, when it came into the possession of the Counts of Champagne. It was badly damaged during the Hundred Years' War. It was burned by Francis I in 1544. It resisted Henry of Navarre in 1592, and Marshal Biron fell in the attack which preceded its eventual capture. In short, the region was contested by nearly everyone for many-many hundreds of years, with two major wars fought there in the 20th Century alone; but, let us talk about viticulture. The Aisne River Valley, between Reims and Soissons, is considered the historic champagne area. Champagne is a sparkling wine produced by inducing the in-bottle secondary fermentation of the wine to effect carbonation. While many regions in France and elsewhere utilize this method, only a limited production area within the Champagne region (five wine producing districts), may legally use the name Champagne. Champagnes, also, must be made from certain kinds of grapes. They can be made from white Chardonnay grapes, red Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier grapes (principal fruit types). Then, there are different names that depend on the sweetness ... but I digress.

On June 23, 1791, Louis XVI after having been arrested during an attempted escape to Varennes-en-Argonne, made a stop in Épernay on the return journey to Paris. The royal family steps out of the carriage the Hôtel de Rohan where it takes lunch and rests for about an hour. The royals involuntarily continue westward to Dormans and eventually to Paris and their doom. http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Épernay

Metz -- Belfort -- Troyes -- Colmar -- Mulhouse -- le Saint-Suaire -- Strasbourg -- Grenoble -- Lyon -- Nantes -- A page about Paris -- Boulogne-sur-Mer, Dunkerque, Calais & Lille -- Lens, Arras & Cambrai -- Sens -- Soissons

The map shows some of the places we mention frequently throughout our Website, in relation to Reims. Question: Do you notice un peu pattern ? More cities' links here: LaRocheUSA.org/France.htm

Link to Another page about cities in Southern France: Montpellier, Nîmes, Arles, Orange et. al. -- Avignon -- Narabonne -- Toulouse -- Carcassonne -- Béziers -- A look at Lanuguedoc's Fab Four -- Aix-en-Provence

Celtic/Frank History -- Germaniæ Historiæ -- Anglo Saxons et.al.
Reformation from a French-Protestant point of view -- Current Newsletter --

A few more German Cities: Lörrach {twin city of Sens} -- Mainz / Mayence -- Trier and Aachen -- Frankfurt -- Köln / Cologne -- Dresden -- Duisburg, Düsseldorf und Dortmund -- Düren, Bonn und Koblenz -- Baden-Baden, Karlsruhe, Speyer, Kaiserslautern und Saarbrücken -- Heidelberg, Heilbronn, Stuttgart und Tübingen -- Mannheim, Worms, Darmstadt und Würzburg -- Switzerland: Geneva -- Berne, Basel und Zürich

The Douay-Rheims Bible, also known as the Rheims-Douai Bible or Douai Bible and abbreviated as D-R, is a translation of the Bible from the Latin Vulgate into English. The Holy Bible, faithfully translated into English out of the authentic Latin. Diligently conferred with the Hebrew, Greek and other Editions. The New Testament was published in one volume with extensive commentary and notes in 1582. The Old Testament followed nearly thirty years later in two volumes; the first volume (Genesis to Job) in 1609, the second (Psalms to 2 Machabees plus the apocrypha of the Clementine Vulgate) in 1610. The purpose of the version, both the text and notes, was to uphold Catholic tradition in the face of the Protestant Reformation which was heavily influencing England. As such it was an impressive effort by English Catholics to support the Counter-Reformation. This was the time when Henri IV would bring to an end the Wars of Religion in France. see «Edict of Nantes»

The center of English Catholicism was the English College at Douai (in NW France almost on Belgium border today, just east of Lens) founded (in 1568) by William Allen, formerly of Queen's College, Oxford, and Canon of York, and subsequently cardinal, for the purpose of training priests to convert the English again to Catholicism. And it was here where the Catholic translation of the Bible into English was produced. A run of a few hundred or more of the New Testament, in quarto form (not large folio), was published in the last months of 1582 (Herbert #177), during a temporary migration of the college to Rheims; consequently, it has been commonly known as the Rheims New Testament. It deserves mention in the history of the English Bible because the Rheims New Testament was one of the versions consulted by the translators of the King James Version (the Authorized Version). A number of the latinisms of the Douay-Rheims, through their use in the King James Bible, have entered standard literary English. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douai_Bible

Northeast of Reims, close by the border with Belgium is Sedan. It was there on September 1, 1870 that the Prussian army crushed French forces under Marshal MacMahon at Sedan (Champagne-Ardennes), the last battle of the Franco-Prussian War. Encircled, Napoleon III was captured on the next day (etiez-vous à Sedan?). How important was this second day? It was an unofficial holiday in Germany until 1919. It caused the collapse of the monarchy in France (Second Empire). The Germans would end up seizing French territory, thus setting the stage for the Great War. The German defeat in this next European-wide War (now called World War I) would in turn, set in motion a series of events leading to yet another great global conflict in 21 years. Interestingly, during World War II the German troops first invaded neutral Belgium and crossed the Meuse River in Sedan. This allowed them to bypass the French fortification system, the Maginot Line (May 14, 1940).

L'ancien nom de la ville et nom latin de celle-ci est Sedensi. Modern Sedan dates from 1424, when work began on its castle (Château de Sedan). In the sixteenth century Sedan was an asylum for Protestant refugees from the Wars of Religion. Until 1651, the Principality of Sedan belonged to the d'Auvergne clan, a sovereign principality. With help from the Holy Roman Empire, it managed to defeat France at the Battle of La Marfée, though immediately afterwards it was besieged and its prince, Frédéric Maurice de La Tour d'Auvergne, duc de Bouillon, submitted to France. http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedan

South and East of Reims is Châlons-en-Champagne (formerly called Châlons-sur-Marne). This Châlons is conjectured to be the site of the Catalaunian Fields upon which the battle of Châlons (451AD), turned back the westward advance of Attila. Saint-Étienne's cathedral includes parts of the first Romanesque cathedral built in the 12th century; however, the structure was largely rebuilt in Gothic style. The west façade (in Baroque style) and two close spans were added in the 17th century. Cloister Notre-Dame-en-Vaux and the church Notre-Dame-en-Vaux are part of the UNESCO World Heritage. Built between 1157 and 1217, the collegiate church had a cloister and was a place of pilgrimage in the 12th century. Saint-Alpin, perhaps the oldest church of the city was rebuilt around 1170 in Gothic style, but still marked by the Romanesque style. http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Châlons-en-Champagne

New: 03/07/09