REIMS

BASIC INFO

  • Champagne capital of the world.  Many of les grandes marques are headquartered in Reims.  Tunnels and caves used for aging the bubbly form mazes under the city.

  • 80 miles (129km) east-northeast of Paris

  • 316k inhabitants

  • Where U.S. General Eisenhower received the unconditional surrender of the German Wehrmacht on 7 May 1945

  • Sister city to Arlington, Virginia -- home of Fulton and Marian!!!

MAPS

MAJOR SIGHTS

  • Oldest monument:  Porte de Mars ("Mars Gate"), one of four Roman gates.  Near the train station.

  • Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Reims.  French Gothic style.  Some stunning windows by Marc Chagall in 1974.  City in 2011 celebrated its 800th anniversary.  UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Former place of coronation of kings of France.  Lots of repair/construction going on.  Tower visits have been suspended.

  • Basilique (or Abbey) of Saint-Remi.  About 1 mile from the Cathedral.  Founded in Sixth Century.

  • Palace of Tau.  Named after Greek letter for "T" (tau) because it's shaped like a T.  Palance for Archbishops and kings.

  • Lots of champagne tastings at different prices.  The tourism website has a nice search tool here.  Examples:

Taittinger (Trip Advisor and company website)
Veuve Clicquot (Trip Advisor and company website)
Mumm (Trip Advisor and company website)

JULIE'S RESEARCH

Per Trip Advisor and a couple of tour books I picked up, the top sites are the cathedral and towers of the cathedral and the basilica. Both the cathedral and the basilica appear to be walking distance from the train station

Next on the list is touring one of the champagne houses, which are a bit further from the train station.
The options, in no particular order. You can read reviews of all of them on Trip Advisor.

1. Veuve-Clicquot
Open Saturday from 9:30-12:30 and 1:30-5:30
45 minute visit is 25 w/one tasting
60 minute visit is 50 w/2 tastings
Appointment required
 

2. Tattinger
Saturday 9:30-5:30, first tour at 9:45
60 minute tour w/tasting
17 for one tasting
27-37 for 2 tastings
45 for 3 tastings
 

3. Champagne Pommeroy
Saturday 10-6
60 minute tour w/tasting
20 for one tasting
30 for 2 tastings
 

4. G. H. Mumm
Saturday 9:30-1 and 2-6
75 minute classic tour
Prices not on website. If this is the preference, I'll contact them.
 

5. Celliers Ruinart
120 minute tour w/2 tastings 70

 

There are a lot of champagne houses.  Judging from the map, the closest to the train station and cathedral is Champagne Charles de Cazanove.

Champagne G.H. MUMM is just a few blocks away.

LINKS

Reims Tourism Bureau

Wikipedia

Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Reims

Palace of Tau

Restaurants in Lonely Planet, Tourism Office, and Trip Advisor.

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