Church in Reims
Reims’ most ancient church, the Basilique Saint-Rémi, stands as an extraordinary example of Romanesque architecture and proudly bears its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Constructed between 1005 and 1049 to serve a Benedictine abbey, this church was erected atop the grounds where an 8th-century Carolingian chapel once stood, drawing countless pilgrims.
While the exterior exhibits Gothic influences, the interior retains vestiges of its original Romanesque design. The harmonious nave, dating back to the 11th century, is illuminated by stunning 12th-century stained-glass windows, casting a warm and otherworldly ambiance upon the sanctuary. In contrast, the choir and adjacent chapels epitomize the tranquility of Early Gothic style.
The basilica enshrines the tomb of Saint Rémi (440-533), an element that has imbued this site with reverence since the 8th century.
Throughout the Hundred Years’ War, the abbey endured decline, later experiencing a renaissance during the period of the Renaissance. The tumultuous times of the French Revolution led to the expulsion of the monks and the conversion of the basilica into a parish church. The ravages of the First World War inflicted damage upon the edifice, necessitating a forty-year-long restoration process.
Today, the Basilique Saint-Rémi remains accessible year-round, with the exception of Sunday mornings. On occasion, the church also serves as a captivating backdrop for musical concerts.
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