The French city of Rheims (Reims in French) is located about 140 km northeast of Paris, halfway Paris – Luxembourg. Reims is situated in the department ‘Marne’ and is the most important city of the region ‘Champagne-Ardenne’.
The history of Rheims goes back more than 2000 years. The name ‘Reims’ refers to the Belgic tribe ‘the Remi’ that lived there, when the Romans conquered Gaul. Under Roman rule Rheims became the capital of Belgica secunda. The city was destroyed by the Vandals in 407 and for a second time by the Huns in 451. Rheims recovered and in 496 Clovis was christened by bishop Remigius (Saint-Remi).
From 1027 to 1825 all coronations of the French kings, with the exception of Louis VI and Henry IV, took place in Rheims. In the 1211 the construction of the current cathedral started after all previous churches were destroyed by fire. In this church 25 French kings were crowned starting with Louis VIII the Lion in 1223 and ending with Charles X in 1825. The coronation of Charles VII during the Hundred Years War can be considered as one of the most remarkable. Joan of Arc brought Charles X to Rheims after she had recaptured the city on the English-Burgundian alliance.
Rheims was partly destroyed during the WWI. The cathedral was severely damaged by German shells.
On May 7, 1945 the German general Alfred Jodl signed in Rheims the unconditional surrender of Germany. On July 8, 1962 the reconciliation of France and Germany took place in the cathedral.
Rheims is considered the city of the Kings, but is also popular for Champagne. Most remarkable buildings are the gothic cathedral: Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims and the partly Romanesque basilica: Basilique Saint-Remi.