The spot of L’Epine in the Marne 51!

As we drive all over our beloved France and into Europe, we come across some interesting towns, we stop see, sometimes eat and then move on. The trip in the Marne department 51 are always welcome, this is the heart of Champagne. My wife’s side and her came here early to work in the vineyards and earned their first money.

We drove going elsewhere actually coming from Châlons-en-Champagne on the N44 to catch up with the faster autoroute A4 and moving on to Verdun and back.  It was a pleasant stop and a nice historical and religious center of France. I am talking about L’Epine but more importantly about the Basilica there.

The town of L’Epine or Thorn is a town in department 51 Marne in the region of Grand Est. The town belongs to the metro or agglo area of Châlons-en-Champagne The next biggest town is   Châlons-en-Champagne and is located 8 km west. The train station closest is located in Châlons-en-Champagne at 9km. There is no webpage for the city hall or mairie but it is at 33 avenue du Luxembourg 51460 L’Epine.

The main thing or only thing to come here is to see the wonderful Basilica of Notre-Dame de l’Epine, whose construction began in 1405 and finished by 1527 , and where we can see a Santiago de Compostela statue in wood from the 16C. Inside there is,also, a robe in stone with 3 arcades from the 15C where the Virgin is held.


The statue of the Virgin holding the Child Jesus was discovered in the Middle Ages according to legend in a bush of thorns on fire and from this comes the name of the town and devotion to the Virgin. The Church received Basilica status in 1914. The Basilica has dimensions like a Cathedral and done in the Gothic style. The façade inspired by that of Toul Cathedral has three portals on two arrows, the one on the right has 55 meters high and on the left demolished in 1798 to put a telegraph was rebuilt in 1868. There are gargantuas figures outside like at Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris.

Many travellers were amazed by the beauty of this Basilica such as Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, Joris-Karl Huysmans, Paul Claudel and Paul Fort. The two important dates here are the pilgrimage of the Diocese in May and the Assomption Day as it is the Patron Saint day.

Is really worth the detour for the magnificent of the Basilica, between Reims and Verdun on the A4 and off the N44 towards Châlons-en-Champagne, you will be gladly surprise.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

The area tourist office of dept Marne 51:

Chalons-en-Champagne tourist office on the Basilica:

The metro or agglo area of Châlons shows more in French of this magnificent Unesco World Heritage site Basilica. Agglo Chalons-en-Champagne

Hope it helps. Remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!


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2 Comments to “The spot of L’Epine in the Marne 51!”

  1. I love all these legends and I am amazed to see signs for ‘El Camino’ so far north. Wonders never cease! 👍

    Liked by 1 person

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