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Reims France

reims 94567 640

Along with Épernay, Reims is the centre of the champagne industry, and it was carefully renovated after WWII. The avenues and parks and stunning Gothic cathedral make Reims a good place to visit, and it is full of history as it was the traditional seat of French coronations from the time of Clovis I's baptism to 1825.

The word Reims is pronounced quite nasally, and sounds like rance, or the French way of saying prince, though the English have traditionally spelt it Rheims and pronounce it reems.

http://www.reims tourisme.comhttp://www.reims tourisme.com Official tourist site for Reims.

It is fairly easy to find a hotel in Reims and there are plenty in the centre, around the place Drouet d'Erlon for example (also the centre of Reims nightlife), there are places such as the Crystal (number 86, 03 26 88 44 44) with rooms for €40 55. The Univers at 41 bd Foch (03 26 88 68 06) is an Art Deco style hotel on the tree lined avenue Foch, with rooms from €70 85, or the polished Boyer Les Crayères, 64 bd Henry Vasnier (03 26 82 80 80) has menus from €165 and rooms from €150. At the budget end of the scale there are two hotels on the rue de Thilliois: the Au Bon Acceuil at number 31 (03 26 05 12 38) and the Thillois at number 17 (03 26 40 65 65) both have basic rooms for under €30.

The gare SNCF and gare routière are both on the northwest side of town, about ten minutes' walk from the cathedral in the centre. An old ruin houses the tourist office next door to the cathedral (03 26 77 45 25). You can get a museum pass for €3 that gains you entry into five of the town's main museums, including the Musée des Beaux Arts on rue Chanzy which has paintings from the Renaissance onwards. Reims Cathédrale Notre Dame is built on a site where churches have stood since the 5th century, and 26 kings were crowned here. The cathedral itself was begun in 1211 and took about 100 years to complete. There is a free sound and light show inside on Friday and Saturday nights in July (11pm) and August (10pm). Outside, the statuary is fascinating, with giggling angels defying the onlooker to find out what is so funny.

For restaurants in Reims you could stick with the place Drouet d'Erlon which is lined with places to eat and drink, such as L'Apostrophe at number 59, with traditional French food. Aux Bons Amis at 13 rue Gosset is great value with lunchtime menus at €11, but it is closed on weekend nights. For vegetarians the Chèvre et Menthe at 63 rue de Barbatre serves a range of salads, quiches and other main dishes for under €10 a course.