Day 1,610 of Traveling the World | Reims, France | June 30, 2022

Reims is a Cathedral Town, and yet so much more was happening here! We found the cathedral to be truly magnificent. We gaped in wonder inside (as we usually do!), wondering about the people who had built this masterpiece, and how they were able to accomplish construction at this height without modern equipment or building techniques. It is a stunning church in which you just sit with your mouth open, amazed. What was neat was that for once, we couldn’t see it all over the Old Town as we wandered the streets. We knew it would be massive, and tall, but we turned a corner and it was suddenly there in front of us, in all of its proud beauty. It was really a thrill.

Reims also has a lively pedestrian street just jammed with restaurants and cafes. Everyone was out, drinking something. We visited what felt like one park divided by a highway and some roads, but the locals name them as three different parks. There is an interesting looking ancient Roman ruin in Reims, the Cryptoportique, which is a lovely ancient colonnade from the second century. We walked and walked to see it, as it was free, and open every day from 2 pm to 6 pm. When we arrived at 3:00 pm, it was closed. A restaurant worker shrugged and said, “It is not open today.” A British man, also wishing to enter, also told us it was closed. “But Google Maps says it is open every afternoon from 2 pm!” we said. He also shrugged and said, “That’s Google Maps!”

In Reims there is also Carnegie Library, free to enter and look around. It is situated just behind the cathedral and is in Art Deco style. We found it to be just beautiful, a little chunk of architectural history. All in all, the city is very vibrant and alive, filled with things to see, great food and shopping, and very welcoming. We are enjoying every minute that we are in France.

Reims Cathedral. Height: 266 feet! It makes you wonder, with no modern technology, how the construction workers built that massive a structure in the 1200s!
You can see in the previous photo that the three front arches are lined with statues of saints. At first, we thought this figure on the right was sculpted to be bound. When we got closer, we realized the bindings were a heavy plastic and were bolted to the wall, probably to keep it from falling on someone.
The inside arches just loom over you on the main aisle. We sat in here for quite a while, looking up, feeling the immensity and grandeur of the environment. We were awed. How many people worked on completing this? How many died doing this work? How many were scared to be on rickety scaffolding, so high up, in pre-OSHA times???
Looking to the rear of the church, this set of rose windows with a vertical panel in between is most impressive.
A close-up of the gorgeous lower rose window was just necessary for your viewing pleasure. It is so detailed and intense! And…check out the engravings in the stone on the sides of it!
This is the side aisle. Because it is a narrower aisle, the arches and vaults are condensed, creating an unforgettable image.
This far shorter, more intimate set of arches is no less impressive.
These stupendous windows in a rear chapel are by Marc Chagall, and date to 1971.
The Andrew Carnegie Library, the Bibliotheque. It was built during the Art Deco period in the 1920s.
Oh, yeah! The chandelier, the wallpaper, the iron-grated windows and doors – all Art Deco and just glorious.
Ready for your close-up?
The beautiful Reading Room, accented with a stained glass skylight and fabulous tall windows.
Walking down a street, we came upon the old Art Deco Opera House. If you can enlarge this, look at the wavy-line architecture and the stained glass up close, as it is really lovely. We don’t know what the refurbishment/remodeling will bring, as the city has a new opera house.
The main pedestrian drag – an entire street called the Place Drouet d’Erlon. (Usually, “Place” means Plaza or Square.) You can see the Sube Fountain down a little ways.
The Fountain of Solidarity, also on the main drag.
The historic Porte de Paris, a city gate, that one reviewer called “a feast for the eyes.” We agree!
Kiosque a Musique – the kiosk of music, or in English, a bandstand!
Two peaceful scenes in the Jardin d’Horticulture...
…which was a real break from all the tourists in town.
The Porte de Mars, the longest preserved Roman arch in the world. It was built between the 2nd and 3rd centuries, and was rediscovered in the 16th century. It took another 300 years to clear and restore it. Magnificent!
Two thousand years old, and we can still see the carved features and other elements.
A large fountain that the children were using as a swimming pool. If you can see the little boy laying on his stomach near the front – he was body surfing along the surface!
The Chapel of Our Lady Queen of Peace, but more commonly called the Foujita Chapel after the Japanese-born artist Tsuguharu Foujita, who painted all of the remarkable frescoes in this tiny chapel.
The chapel was consecrated on October 1, 1966, and donated to the City of Reims two weeks later. It is listed as a historic monument.
This is Foujita’s depiction of the Seven Deadly Sins…don’t they look nasty???
Our Lady of the Harvest. We love how Foujita has Mary casually sitting on a cask of wine, holding grapes, as the harvest is gathered.
All of the stained glass windows in the chapel at the far end had skulls, skeletons, and little demons like you see at the very top.
We just liked the way this house looked!
A museum, half-timbered and turreted.
A beautiful half-timbered building, now with an array of retail shops at ground level.
A Venetian Carousel. Every European town seems to have at least one carousel – we counted three in Reims!