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Reims is often regarded as the capital of the Champagne province in France. Along with its splendid and world-renowned wine production, there are plenty of sights to visit.
Though there are no direct flights to Reims, it’s easy to get here from Paris...
Of course it is for the champagne that many visitors flock here. From the glamorous brands that many of us can only dream of affording to the more wallet-friendly varieties, champagne is named after the province where the grapes are grown and then turned into fizzy wine.
There are more than 300 vineyards in the region, with many providing tours. A glass of bubbly is often included. You can also visit the tunnels and caves that stretch for 150 miles under Reims and learn more about how champagne is made. The champagne is aged in these chalk caverns, some of which date as far back as Roman times. Some of them are so large you need to travel round on a small train. Again, tasting is often offered.
The famous names of Lanson, Veuve Clicquot, Krug, Mumm, Piper-Heidsieck, Tattinger and Pommery can all be found in Reims, making it an essential stop for all champagne lovers.
In addition to enjoying the history and flavours of the champagne, Reims has several splendid buildings that have been designated as Unesco World Heritage sites.
French kings were once crowned amid the Gothic splendour of the Notre-Dame Cathedral of Reims. It was built in the 13th century and its magnificence still attracts more than one million visitors a year.
The beautiful Palais du Tau is the former home of the Archbishop of Reims but is now a museum housing tapestries and statues from the cathedral alongside artefacts connected to the coronation of French kings. Future monarchs would stay here the evening before their coronation, and after the ceremony a magnificent banquet would be held.
The Saint Remi Basilica was built between the 11th and 15th centuries and the church is a mix of Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance styles. The buildings of the church hold an extensive art and history collection relating to Reims.
The Museum of Fine Arts is home to a rich collection of 16th to 20th century art from all the major European artistic movements. Its main objects are paintings but there are also drawings, sculptures, furniture and engravings, making it one of the finest collections in France.
Around 15 miles outside Reims you will find the Reims-Gueux race track. The circuit was open between 1926 and 1972 and in that time hosted the French Grand Prix on 15 occasions. It's well worth a visit to see the old grandstands and pits.
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