There are many Gothic churches in Europe on the Heritage List. The one in Reims in northern France is a special one.
The UNESCO World Heritage List includes more than a thousand properties with outstanding universal value. They are all part of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.
- Official title: Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Former Abbey of Saint-Rémi and Palace of Tau, Reims
- Country: France
- Date of Inscription: 1991
- Category: Cultural site
UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre’s short description of site no. 601:
“The outstanding handling of new architectural techniques in the 13th century, and the harmonious marriage of sculptural decoration with architecture, has made Notre-Dame in Reims one of the masterpieces of Gothic art. The former abbey still has its beautiful 9th-century nave, in which lie the remains of Archbishop St Rémi (440533), who instituted the Holy Anointing of the kings of France. The former archiepiscopal palace known as the Tau Palace, which played an important role in religious ceremonies, was almost entirely rebuilt in the 17th century.”
I visited Reims on a daytrip from Paris in 2003. It was a huge church but I dropped looking into the Tau Palace.
I wrote this: There is a statue of Joan of Arc inside. Her alleged (and at least legendary) victory over the English in the Hundred Year War culminated in the coronation of Charles VII here in Reims. Since the 1400s the Notre Dame de Reims was used for coronations. All the Kings of France came here to receive their sceptre and blessing.