Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims
Cathedral in Reims
Dominating the heart of Reims, the Notre-Dame Cathedral stands in stately fashion, its soaring spires commanding attention even from afar. Esteemed as one of France’s most exquisite cathedrals, this UNESCO World Heritage Site stands as a prime exemplar of Gothic architecture.
The splendid 13th-century structure showcases an intricately adorned facade reminiscent of delicate lacework and showcases an impressive ensemble of over 2,000 statues. Gracing the cathedral’s western front are three elaborately crafted entrances, the central one being crowned by a rose window. Just above, the iconic Gallery of Kings extends, featuring a linear array of statues within ornate niches. The sculpture on the central entrance vividly narrates the life of the Virgin.
Adding a touch of whimsy to the façade is the statue known as the “Sourire de Reims” (Smiling Angel).
Stepping into the interior, you’ll be awestruck by the grandeur of the space. The expansive nave exudes an atmosphere of solemnity while bathing in an unexpected luminosity, thanks to an abundance of stained-glass windows. The cathedral’s ambiance has been given a modern twist with three stained-glass windows created by Marc Chagall and nine by the German artist Imi Knoebel.
The cathedral in Reims holds a uniquely significant place in the annals of French history. Much like London’s Westminster Abbey, the Notre-Dame Cathedral of Reims served as the backdrop for the monarchy’s coronation rituals, spanning over a remarkable eight centuries.
In a notable instance, Joan of Arc accompanied Charles VII to this very cathedral in July 1429 for his coronation, an event that left an indelible mark. Commemorating her role, an equestrian statue of Joan of Arc graces the square situated before the cathedral.
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Visiting Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims
7:30am until 7:30pm