In Reims

Welcome to Reims, where they’re already decked-out for Christmas!

On Friday morning, we took an early train from Paris, so we could spend the day in the City of Kings.

It was a grey and chilly day, but the cathedral was no-less astonishing. French kings were crowned here, ever since the baptism of Clovis, First King of the Franks on Christmas Day in 498.

It looked different back then…

The current cathedral dates from the 13th century, with construction continuing into the 14th. The names of the architects are lost to time, which is highly unusual. Whoever they were, their work is still amazing to this day…

The church survived the Revolution intact, becoming the headquarters of the Temple of Reason. Its many treasures and religious artifacts were rescued and hidden by the citizens of Reims, and returned to the cathedral when actual reason returned to public life.

They can be seen today – but no pictures, please! – in the Tau museum next door.

 About 80% of Reims was destroyed in the First World War, and was rebuilt in the 1930’s. The mostly-Deco architecture is lovely, but a few older buildings are scattered about…

At first glance, I thought this was one of them…the rough cobbles, high arched portico…

The sundial built into the gable…

But no! A small sign on the front said it had been rebuilt in 1928…

(I want a sundial like that. I have no idea where, but somewhere…)

It was beginning to get misty, and our tummies were beginning to grumble. Time to look for a warm, cozy place for lunch.

Tartiflette, anyone?

I’ll get out the recipe when I get home – and post it, I promise – but it’s basically potatoes, pieces of ham, and Reblochon cheese baked until golden and bubbly. Perfect for a cold, wet day that was getting colder by the hour!

We walked a bit more after lunch, and visited a house-museum…the home of a 19th century champagne merchant named Krafft, who collected architectural bits and bobs, and anything else that struck his fancy. There was also an exhibit of Albrecht Durer’s 15th century etchings in the house…

The day turned damp(er), and we had decided to try to change our return to Paris to an earlier train, when I saw this:

 That’s Roman – no doubt. The porch on the second floor would have once been an open colonnade, the shape of the doors at street-level…

Yep. Eighth Century…they’re so amazing. This one has been lovingly cared-for.

As it should be – the sign says it belongs to Taittinger’s Champagne!

By this time, we truly were ready to head back home, footsore but happy. It was a good day.

Joan said so… and we all know who SHE talks to…

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35 thoughts on “In Reims

  1. Just wonderful, I love the walking in europe.. how divine and yes I am looking forward to that recipe, potatoes and cheese all in one dish!! I posted a pic of my chipper on my post today completely forgetting that you were Out Of Town! Have fun.. c

    • My chipper is finished for the season – it’s easier to use the snowplow without it on the back. One of the first projects when we get home is to switch over…Just because it’s warm there right now, doesn’t mean it will stay that way!

  2. Awesome photos. This is one city we missed when Nana and I went over. It is cold and rainy (Yea!!) here today. I’ll send an email about my morning.

  3. WOW! This is a wonderful post dear Marie, what a great architecture. And you captured so nicely, especially the number 5 and the last one impressed me so much, in the first one, the yellow leaves and in the second one the blue sculpture! They are great shots. Thank you, with my love, nia

  4. Oh my, oh my, how glorious. Another grand city I hope to visit one day. I can see I’ll have to study this post numerous times to get the tour right when the chance arises. 🙂 The cathedral is *so* spectacular, one of my great favorites from my first art history courses.

    And oh, boy, that Tartiflette! Dangerously delicious.

    Hope the whole rest of the trip is fabulous and joyful and enriching in all of the greatest ways!
    xoxoxo!

    • I have to say, I understand now why people plant ginko trees…they’re the most beautiful bright yellow in the fall, even in places not known for autumn color…I’ve seen a few around Paris as well, but I still love the lindens the best…

  5. It looks like you’re having a marvelous time, in spite of the weather. And you’re kind enough to blog about it, in effect taking us along. Thank you for that — and where are we going next?

  6. I am soooo jealous of you right now. Paris is most definitely on my bucket list — and I’m a fan of any architecture that makes me have to look up a bit of history.

    Hmm…a cheese I haven’t tried…I’ll have to get on that….

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