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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.


Rheims and surrounding area

Tales of Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695)

No city I to Rheims would e’er prefer:
Of France the pride and honour I aver;
The Holy Ampoule and delicious wine,
Which everyone regards as most divine,
We’ll set apart and other objects take:
The beauties round a Paradise might make.

Rheims, city of royal anointing, capital of Champagne and martyr city of World War I, boasts a history that reaches back across the millennia. Durocortorum Remorum (now Rheims) was the capital of the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. Clovis, the Frankish king who saw off the Romans, was anointed in Rheims cathedral, as was every French king from the 10th Century onwards. Today, Rheims boasts an embarrassment of riches, from Gallo-Roman ruins to Art Deco facades, not to mention those historic places now listed as Unesco World Heritage sites. This is a city that holds special significance for French history, famed for its gastronomy and, of course, its peerless wine.

As the home of the most famous wine in the world, Rheims features on the labels of Grande Marque Champagne wines — wines that owe their glittering reputation to the talent and expertise of their creators. Today, these Champagne Houses invite you to discover the cellars where their precious bubbly is born: caverns hewn out of chalk where Champagne wines are laid down for many years, before they eventually emerge to celebrate occasions great and small.

Rheims, with its busy student life, its cultural events and its art de vivre, is a city blessed with countless attractions.

Reims Tourist Office


The Maison des Musiciens

13e siècle

The House of Taittinger is pleased to announce that its historic Reims’ property, the Maison des Musiciens, is to be restored to its original splendour, complete with a façade featuring five statues dating from the 13th Century.


The Cathedral of Notre-Dame

1211

Without Rheims Cathedral, Champagne would not have the image that it enjoys today.
The Cathedral of Notre Dame of Rheims is among the World Heritage sites listed by UNESCO.


The Hôtel Ponsardin

1780

The Clicquot-Ponsardin Hôtel Particulier (private mansion) is situated in the heart of Reims, just two steps from the Place Royale. Built c.1780 by Jean-Nicolas-Philippe Ponsardin, textile industrialist and 18th Century French Baron, it is today the headquarters of the Rheims and Epernay Chamber of Commerce and Industry.


Moulin de Verzenay

1818

Owned by G.H. Mumm and classified as a historic monument, the Moulin de Verzenay was built on the Mont-Bœuf in 1818 by the Tinot-Vincent couple, and was designed for the simultaneous milling of two types of grain.


Gueux Château and Park

1856

Formerly a Louis Roederer property, Gueux Chateau and Park has been home to Rheims’ golf club, famous for its world-class golf course, since 1928.


Domaine Pommery — Hill of Saint Nicaise

1868

This Victorian-style estate, at the top of the Hill of Saint-Nicaise in Rheims, was built for Madame Louise Pommery (1819-1890) and remains a Pommery possession to this day.


1882-1884


The cellars and wine vaults of Mumm

1898

In 1898, the House of Mumm built cellars and offices close by the town hall, with two aims in mind: art and function. The building was the brainchild of architect Ernest Kalas and artist Auguste Guilbert-Martin and served as the headquarters of the Union des Maisons de Champagne from 1907 to 1914.


The Roederer-Boisseau Hospice

19 octobre 1899

At the close of the 19th Century, Madame Roederer, widow of Eugène Roederer and a great patron of religious works, built an old people’s hospice in the Rue de Courlancy. The hospice was opened on 19 October 1899 by the archbishop and other notable figures (among them Charles Heidsieck).


Gallé decorates a Pommery barrel

1903

A celebration of the friendship between Champagne and America by Master woodworker Emile Gallé.


Château des Crayères

1904

The Château des Crayères was built in 1904 at the top of the Hill of Saint Nicaise in Rheims, by Melchior de Polignac (grandson of Madame Pommery). The architecture is representative of its time: sober but with an air of majestic power.


The Champagne Sports Park

1908

First conceived in 1908, opened in 1910 and dedicated in 1912, the Parc Pommery was designed by the House of Pommery with the sole aim of providing access to sport for all. The park was then gifted to the city of Rheims and renamed the Parc de Champagne.


Villa Demoiselle

1909

An emblem of Rheims architecture, the Villa Demoiselle combines Art Nouveau and Art Deco to delightful effect. Take a trip back in time and step into a Champagne House that is graced with a uniquely refined decor.


Phare de Verzenay (Verzenay lighthouse)

1909

The Phare de Verzenay was the brainchild of Joseph GOULET, (son of Modeste GOULET, founder of the Goulet-Turpin branch of the family).


The testimony of the cellars

1914-1918

Drawings, inscriptions, graffiti … the chalk walls of the Champagne cellars are inscribed with simple messages that represent an important historical record. A priceless treasure at the heart of UNESCO World Heritage.


Our American allies, the great patrons of Rheims

1917

After joining the "Allies" in 1917, the United States eventually committed their forces to bring freedom to Europe in the two World Wars. Then from 1947 to 1951, they financed the "Marshall Plan" in aid of those countries that had been devastated by war.


Cité-jardin du Chemin-Vert

1919

In 1919, with Rheims in ruins after the ravages of the First World War, Joseph Krug proposed the idea for The Chemin-Vert Garden City. Construction was placed in the hands of the Foyer Rémois agency that was set up in 1912 by the industrialist Georges Charbonneaux.


American Memorial Hospital

1919

After the First World War, Mrs Edith Bangs, president of the American Memorial Hospital Foundation, canvassed the support of the great families on the American East Coast to fund a one hundred bed hospital in Rheims.
In April 1919, an American doctor named Marie-Louise Lefort arrived in Rheims with a large team to treat the victims of gas warfare.


Maison Henri Abelé - "Sourire de Reims"

1920

Founded in 1757, the Henri Abelé Champagne House (founded in Epernay by Théodore Van der Veken) is one of the oldest in the history of Champagne.


Reims Tennis Club

1920

Rheims Tennis Club was established by its first president, Count Maxence de Polignac, cousin of Melchior, Marquis of Polignac and director of the House of Pommery. The club was officially constituted on 11 June 1920 and took four years to build. Much is owed to the generous support of Mrs A M Dike and Mrs Anne Morgan of the Comité Américain pour les Régions Dévastées (CARD), and to the benevolence of its members and founding committee. The competition-standard open-air swimming pool was added the following summer. Count Maxence remained president of the club until 1933.


Hôtel de la Mutualité

1926

The Hôtel de la Mutualité was gafted to the town of Rheims by the House of Louis Roederer. Originally it also housed the music conservatory.


The Carnegie Library

1928

Generous American benefactor Andrew Carnegie gives Rheims an Art Deco library.
The library was built in the period 1921-1927, under the direction of Rheims architect Max Sainsaulieu (1870-1953), and formally opened on 10 June 1928 in the presence of French president Gaston Doumergue and US ambassador Myron T Herrick.


The Champagne stained glass window

1954

The Champagne stained-glass window that graces the south transept of Rheims Notre Dame Cathedral was generously sponsored by the Winegrowers and Houses of Champagne.


The Chapel of Notre-Dame de la Paix

1965

The Chapel of Notre-Dame de la Paix was entirely decorated by the Japanese artist Léonard Foujita (1886-1968) and gifted to the town of Rheims by René Lalou, president and director general of G.H. Mumm.


The cathedral clock and carillon

1988

The Rheims Cathedral clock and carillon form an inseparable part of the liturgical life overseen by the cathedral chapter. Today they ring out once more thanks to the patronage of Winegrowers and Champagne Houses, whose support was rewarded on 5 December 1988 with those long awaited first chimes.


Statuary of the cathedral’s central portal

1990

Restoration of the central portal vaulting.


Statue of the baptism of Clovis

1996

The year 1996 marked the passing of fifteen centuries since the baptism of Clovis by Saint-Remi, archbishop of Rheims. This event in 496 was effectively the founding moment for France and the beginning of Christian influence in Europe.


The "Beau Dieu" Statue

2004

The Statue du Beau Dieu that graces the exterior of the north transept of Rheims Cathedral has been restored to its full majesty thanks to the sponsorship of the House of Taittinger.


The Crayères of the Hill of St Nicaise

Ve siècle

First dug in the 3rd Century and worked until the time of the Revolution, these chalk pits (carrières) offer ideal conditions for the aging of Champagne: constant temperature, a complete absence of vibrations and a perfect level of humidity.


The residence of Tibaud IV

XIIIe siècle

The residence of the Counts of Champagne is a Taittinger property located in the heart of Rheims between the town hall and the cathedral. Built in the 13th Century, it served as the residence of Thibaud IV (1201–1253) and the Counts of Champagne in general when they came to Rheims for the anointing of the kings of France.


XIIIe siècle


Hôtel-Musée Le Vergeur

XIIIe siècle

The origins of the Hotel le Vergeur date back to the 13th Century and a time when markets were held in the Forum (on the vestiges of a Gallo-Roman forum that remain visible to this day). The Rue du Marc quarter was peopled by the gentry and bourgeoisie, close to the home of the Counts of Champagne (belonging to Taittinger). The Hotel Le Vergeur’s two levels of vaulted cellars suggest that the property originally traded in still Champagne wines.


The Marc Mansion

XIXe siècle

Built for Edouard Werlé, successor to Madame Clicquot and mayor of Rheims, the Marc Mansion, with its courtyard and garden, is a prime example of Rheims 19th Century architecture, reflecting the neo-classical influence of the preceding century.