Reims Cathedral and its Fabulous Light Show #regalia

Notre Dame de Reims (Our Lady of Reims) is an ancient church done up in High Gothic Style. From Thursday to Sunday they project a superbly produced free light show after dark. Last night it started at 2245h.

The Cathedral is the traditional location for the coronation of the French kings. In its previous incarnation as a Romanesque building it was the site of the baptism of Clovis I in the early 6th century. Construction of the current church began in the 13th century after the destruction by fire of the previous structure. It features flying buttresses like the ones at Notre Dame in Paris, allowing for a well light interior. It is owned by the government of France, which pays for its care. The Roman Catholic Church is allowed use.

After the severe bombing damage of WWI, when it was used as a hospital, the building was restored, with three windows by the Russian born Chagal. The Rockefeller Foundation donated to the project. In the 1990’s they found the 5th century baptistry along with parts of the original church, itself built upon the site of the baths.

In 816 Louis the Pious was crowned by Pope Stephen IV. From Henry I in 1027 most French kings were crowned here. It was held by the English but returned to the French by none other than the 20 year old Joan of Arc in 1429.

Reams have been written about Reims (actually pronounced something like ‘Rance,’ no ‘M.”) There’s a PhD thesis around every corner. Just looking at its main facade is more than an eyeful, even though the main entrance is currently covered. There are more statues than I can count without a large photo print.

Garybob says check it out! Get there from Paris on the TGV. It does not take long.

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