According to the legend, Reims was founded by Remus, Romulus’ brother who founded ancient Rome. The Celtic tribe who lived in the region may have taken therefore the name of Remes.
Around 80 BC, the people of Remes built an oppidum which they called Durocortero (circular stronghold) After the Roman conquest, Durocortorum was integrated into the Roman province of Belgium and became its capital. At its height, with its 30 000 inhabitants, the Gallo-roman city was the most populated north of the Alps.
Around 260 the bishopric of Reims was founded. During the great invasions, in 407 the Bishop Nicaise was killed by the vandals in front of his church and was later to become the patron saint of the city of Reims.
The cathedral then hosted the crowning of all but 4 of the Kings of France, until the French Revolution of course in 1789 after which the entire nobility was abolished.
Today, Reims boasts 3 UNESCO world heritage sites, the Palais de Tau, the Notre Dame cathedral and the Basilic St. Remi, as well as many beautiful buildings, and of course, let’s not forget the many champagne houses, Taittinger, Veuve Clicquot, Ruinart, Pommery to name but a few.
Important events in the calendar are:
Fete de la Musique held on mid-summer’s day every year (21st June), music and dance outdoors around the City.
Flaneries Musicale, starts on the 21st June and runs to 21st July with concerts indoors and outdoors around the City. Reims sponsors 120 free concerts during July and August, through the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation
Foire Independent des Vignerons – Reims Wine Festival is an amazing event held in the Parc des Expositions towards Chalons en Champagne. If you love wine and food, you’ll love this. Held annually on the 2nd weekend in November.
German Christmas Market – held in Place d’Erlon and Place du Forum from 1st to 24th December. Lots of food, music, champagne and original and unique gifts for your loved ones.
In addition, from July through September thee are sound-and-light shows at Reims Cathedral, and in October a month-long rock festival.