An Ionian seaside town, Avola is a mix of old and new. The town focuses heavily on the sea, with its history as a tuna fishing port. Today, the remains of the Vecchia Tonnara at the wharf are a stone backdrop to the sandy beaches. Avola dates back to a pre-Greek people called the Sicani.…
Finishing our Route de Champagne, my friend Petra and I spent the entire day exploring Reims, a city in the Grand Est region of France.
It was a hot sunday but worth of evey walk through the city.
We ate and admired the local history and culture.
The city was, of course, founded by the Gauls, (Asterix and Obelix) 🙂 and became a major city during the period of the Roman Empire. From those times are dating some roman momunets in Reims amongst which the most popular is Porte Mars. It is a 12 m high monumet dating from 3 CE with many highly detailed carvings that are describing the legend of its existence: apparently the citizens of Rheims built the arch in the honour of Rome as Roman Empire built major roads through their city.
Many people know Reims for its cathedral, Notre-Dame de Reims, formerly the place of coronation of the kings of France since the Clovis l in 5th century, the one that united Franks. This whitnesses the gallery of French Kings’ monuments above the main portal (entrance) and glass rose.
Before I show the inner side of the cathedral, just a small fun fact: the cathedral has been erected on the site of some Roman baths.
The interior of the cathedral transepts with aisles, there is an impressive choir and interesting rose window over the main portal and the gallery beneath as a of rare magnificence.
As the cathedral is cleraly belonging to gothic style of that epoche and popular at the territories of today’s France and Germany, the architects were playing with the lights as a vision of God’s good will to look at His people.
In 11th century King Henry I of France and Anne of Kiev were married in the cathedral.
But, before it became cathedral, it was a minor church that was rebuilt during the Carolingian period and further extended in the 12th century. In 13th century, the cathedral was damaged by fire and reconstruction started shortly after, with an intention to build bigger site.
During the Hundred Years’ War with England (15th century), fighting for the French territoires, the cathedral was damaged. The most famous king from these times was Charles VII and the battle at Agincourt in support of Jean d’Arc.
Both her statue and the image of the coronation of Charles VII are present in the cathedral.
It is important to mention that after the World War ll, the reconcilliation between France and Germany was signe in thee cathedral by French General Charles de Gaulle and German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer.
As the cathedral was again damaged in World Wars I and II, some glass windows were reconstructed by contemporary artists in contemporary style.
Today is a major tourist attraction, as it receives more than one million visitors in one year.
Next to the Cathedral is Palace of Tau, the archiepiscopal palace, built in 15th century as the residence of the kings of France on the occasion of their coronations. It holds some reliquies, tresory, tapistries etc of France.
Reims is a capital of Champagne-Ardenne region as like that has a great gastronomy. My friend and I were eating quite well, visiting restaurants with Michelin star and deluxe awards. Ofcourse, each meal was accompanied with the glass of champagne or red wine.