Wednesday, August 02, 2017

REIMS and the Cathedral

It was time to move on from Belgium. We've been awfully mundane in our travels by staying in the rut of France and Italy (7 times now). Having said that, travelling back into France, the difference was extremely noticeable for us. Not long after passing the border of Belgium and France we turned into the fortified village Rocroi situated in the Ardennes region on the way to Reims.
I'd read about Rocroi in the DK travel books however we've never been in the region previously. We really on just stumbled upon the village as we do in our past travels be driving the non-toll roads. We are not cheap by avoiding tolls and in fact rich by the discoveries that come our way.
Stolen from the internet - the notifications of Rocroi are in the shape of a stylised star.
The village is one of the France's group of most beautiful villages and it certainly didn't disappoint on our visit. It is in the northern French Ardennes region. We took in a glass of wine outside a small bar and as we sat down an elderly gentleman in a wheelchair started a conversation. He told us that when 58 years old while riding his bicycle he had a very bad accident that put him in the wheelchair. We talked of cycling and in particular the Tour de France and the Australian riders of which he quoted many familiar names. We shouted him his beer.
There's a certain pride with rural french villages and there are alway plenty of flowers and a neatness about them.
Most fortified French villages still retain their covered markets.
It was time to move on to Reims. Our reason to take the route to Reims was to see the cathedral in which many French Kings were ordained. The first king of the Franks, Clovis was baptised in this cathedral. Joan of Arc after defeating the English brought the Dauphin of France here to be crowned as king. Its an extraordinary cathedral and we've seen many in France including Notre Dame of Paris, Poitiers, Chartres to name a few. The restoration process is also amazing by the skilled craftsmen reproducing the intricate stone sculptures as can be seen in the photos below.

From this to;

 To this:

The statue of Joan of Arc looks up towards the Reims Cathedral to where she brought Charles, the Dauphin of France to be ordained as King of France after the defeat of the English at Orleans.

At the coronation of Charles, Joan of Arc appeared in her armour with sword and her specially made gold robe.

Scenes of Reims.

After Reims, we moved on to Fontainebleau and then Orleans as overnight stays to visit friends who live in the Loire. More to come yet.


  1. Hi Leon,
    We were in Reims for 5 days prior to continuing on the Canal Ardennes. Left Verdun this morning after leaving the boat with our Qld partners. Now in Paris before our flight to Vancouver.
    Happy travels.
    Regards Janine

    1. A trip to France should always start and finish in Paris, I'm sure you agree Janine

  2. Of all the cathedrals I have seen in France I think Reims is my favourite it is stunning to say the least of it.
    How is Sue?
    Have a good week Diane x

    1. More on Sue in the next Blog Diane. Its been a tough time getting home and then organising my father's Celebration of life.


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