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Heritage

The Champagne region holds particular significance for French history. It was originally part of the Roman province of Gallia Belgica, which in the 5th Century became the seat of the Merovingian dynasty that ousted the Romans. At its head was the Frankish King Clovis, whose baptism in Rheims established the precedent for royal anointing in Rheims cathedral that ended with the last King of France, Charles X. In medieval times, Champagne was the venue of great annual trading fairs. In World War I it was the bloody battlefield of the Western Front, later coming to symbolise the reconciliation between France and Germany.
For 300 years the Champagne Houses have been adding to this exceptional heritage through the commissioning of architectural masterpieces that sing the praises of the King of Wines.


Elsewhere in Champagne


The medieval city of Troyes

XIIe siècle

The ancient city of Troyes boasts an unusually rich heritage, starting with the medieval trade fairs held there twice a year that gave the city such prestige, not to mention the Old Town in the shape of a Champagne cork!


The Jean de La Fontaine Museum

1559

The birthplace of Jean de La Fontaine remains one of the loveliest private mansions in the town of Château-Thierry.


Château de Bligny

XVIIIe siècle

Château de Bligny is the joint headquarters of Champagne Houses G.H. Martel and de Cazanove, built in 1773 on top of the ruins of a feudal chateau. All that remains of the medieval Louis XIII-style castle today is the front door with its finely sculpted grape and vine branch motifs.


The Joseph-Perrier cellars, lit by natural daylight

1824

Châlons-en-Marne, regional capital of Champagne-Ardennes, holds a special place in Champagne history as the home of the gleuco-œnomètre, a "wine sugar meter" that from 1831 onwards made it possible to control the rate of second fermentation in the bottle. Its inventor was Jean-Baptiste François, a pharmacist and former soldier in Napoleon’s Grande Armée, and his technique became known as the Reduction François.


Cadoles de Champagne

1850

The Cadoles de Champagne are traditional dry stone huts on the Côte des Bar (Bar-sur-Seine and Bar-sur-Aube), built by winegrowers from the stones that lay around them and used to shelter from the weather in winter and summer alike.