Joan of Arc Statue, Reims

Statue in Reims

CC BY-SA 3.0 / Clelie Mascaret

Standing as an embodiment of the Third Republic era, this statue, sculpted in the late 19th century, pays homage to the iconic Joan of Arc. A remarkable figure known as a warrior, mystic, martyr, and saint, she emerged as the savior of Reims, shielding the city from the destructive grasp of the English army. This statue finds its place in the shadow of the very cathedral she valiantly defended.

Born into a humble peasant family, Joan’s life was marred by the burning of her village by English forces, transforming her family into refugees. This traumatic event fueled her determination to challenge the occupying invaders. As a pivotal figure in the Hundred Years’ War, particularly during the March to Reims, Joan’s actions led to the liberation of the Reims Cathedral, a momentous event that facilitated the crowning of Charles VII as the King of France.

Paul Dubois’s bronze rendering of Joan of Arc in Reims captures her essence. With an ethereal countenance and an intense gaze at the cathedral spires, her facial expression hints at the mysticism that defined her life. Yet, the statue also embodies her ferocity, depicting her at ease within a realm of warfare.

One of Joan’s steel-clad arms is poised aloft, holding a powerful épée bâtarde longsword, while the other hand maintains a firm grip on the reins of her war-horse. The equine companion exudes strength, its flared nostrils and pawing hoof conveying a readiness to charge into action.

Undoubtedly, this figure is far from one you’d wish to encounter on a dark night, especially if you happened to be an English-aligned Burgundian soldier in Reims during 1429. When Joan of Arc and her formidable 12,000-strong army laid siege to the city, encountering her up close would likely have been your final sight before succumbing to the fatal strike of her longsword.

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Visiting Joan of Arc Statue, Reims

Address: Statue de Jeanne d'Arc Canton de Reims-1, 51100 Reims France
Duration: 20 minutes

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