France

Reims

Home to 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, this ancient city saw the coronation of 33 French kings.

Reims The City of Coronations

In 816 Pope Stephen IV crowned Louis the Debonnaire here, establishing a tradition that would last until 1825. The UNESCO-listed Notre-Dame cathedral is a masterpiece of Gothic art, and provided a magnificent backdrop for the royal coronation ceremonies held within. Nicknamed ‘The Cathedral of Angels’ because of its magnificent statues of angels with opened wings, the interior is illuminated by stupendous stained glass windows. Next door, the Tau palace, a former archbishop's palace where the coronation banquets were once held. Today this UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to the Works of Notre-Dame museum where tapestries, sculptures, the cathedral treasury, and coronation-related objects are exhibited. The third UNESCO site is the striking Romano-Gothic Saint-Remi basilica, which dates back to the 11th century. In the former Saint-Remi abbey, also UNESCO-listed, visitors can find a museum that exhibits art and artefacts from Prehistory to the Middle Ages.

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