Reims Cathedral is a magnificent religious edifice where once were crowned French kings. As part of the popular French Champagne region, Reims and its beautiful historical monuments including the cathedral, are annually visited by about half a million tourists from around the world. Together with its magnificent Chartres Cathedral and Amiens Cathedral, the cathedral of Reims is part of the so-called triad of Christian "Supreme Gothic" or "classic" cathedrals in the country.
Reims is located about 134 km northeast of Paris, along the Vesle River and Aisne-Marne Canal. Reims Cathedral was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1991 with the former Abbey of Saint Remi and Tau Palace.
Known as Notre-Dame de Reims, this magnificent building is one of the most famous and valuable examples of Gothic art in France. It was built for the Virgin Mary and is considered the oldest churches in Reims, popular as the capital of Champagne. In place of the current cathedral once stood original basilica with Romanesque architecture, but it was totally burned in 1210.
The current Notre Dame de Reims is completed in the 13th century, in the 14th century was added the western facade of the temple, which is entirely made in the original architectural plans of the 13th century. Again in the 14th century, the cathedral at Reims is extended in order to accommodate the crowds of people that came to watch the royal coronation taking place here. The foundations of the temple were made by the architect Jean d'Orbais, but the case is completed by Master Robert de Coucy.
The two architects who had produced the Reims cathedral, did so as a monument to complete harmony and unity. No one can miss that the cathedral in Reims was built entirely similar to that of Chartres. This shows the overall structure in the facade of the three floors of both buildings. The western part of the temple consists of three notable portals, completed by sculpted arches and rosette windows with superb stained glass from the 13th century and two towers on both sides.
The facade of Reims Cathedral is probably the most lavishly decorated outer part of a Gothic church in Europe. Unlike the decoration of buildings from the 12th century, which are rough and somewhat formal, with the ornaments of this cathedral there is a greater realism and more stirred outlines.
The length of the Notre Dame de Reims is 138 m and its height is 38m. The two towers of 81 m high were erected in the 15th century. More than 2, 000 priceless statues of saints can be seen on the facade of the cathedral at Reims. The most famous among them is that of a smiling angel. Many of the decorations of the temple are the work of a fakir in Gothic architecture - Joseph Master.
Many fine tapestries can be seen in this Gothic temple. The most important series of them is that of Robert de Lenoncourt, which recreates the life of the Virgin Mary. During the First World War, the cathedral at Reims was quite destroyed, but painstakingly restored after 1918.