Basilica Saint Remi of Reims!!

Well this is a classic and marvelous monument of my belle France. I enjoyed with the family all these previous trips especially those in Champagne country! I like to tell you about the glorious Basilica Saint Remi of Reims! 

Yes no matter what, history and roots are deep here, sometimes they make you change with difficulty but the history and architecture is enormous. I have been here often, been the place with my dear late wife Martine and sisters used to worked the vineyards to help pay studies etc. They took me early in 1990 ,and then some. And it is at Reims, department 51 of the Marne, in the region of Grand Est. The Basilica of St. Remi after the Cathedral, which it equals almost in size, it is 122 meters long (403 ft) , the Basilica of Saint-Remi is the most famous church of Reims. It was a long time attached to an important abbey, the Abbaye Saint-Remi de Reims. Saint-Remi dates from the 11-13C and 15C.

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A bit of history I like

This Basilica Church Saint Remi contains the relics of Bishop Saint Remi, who baptized Clovis, King of the Franks, on Christmas Day of a year between 496 and 506, perhaps in 499 of the Incarnation, after the Battle of Tolbiac. However, the tradition holds the year 496, celebrated by the coming of Pope John Paul II in 1996 to celebrate the 1 500 years of the baptism of Clovis and France.

In 533, Remi, Bishop of Reims, wished to be buried in the Chapel dedicated to Saint Christophe, which was located 2 km from the Cathedral. Very quickly this Chapel Saint-Christophe becomes a place of pilgrimage. People flocking, religious folks to keep the body of the Holy man. The primitive chapel is enlarged to the dimensions of a church, where the body is transferred in 533, the day that became, the Saint-Remi. At about 760, Abbé Jean Turpin (Turpin in the song of Roland) founded the Abbey of Saint-Remi and settled there a Benedictine religious community that remained there until the French revolution. The church was consecrated by Pope Leo IX in 1049, during the Council of Reims between 1118 and 1151, the sanctuary and the monastic choir was decorated and was preserved until the French revolution. It has been done like a mosaic pavement in the choir of the monks, which occupied the last four bays of the nave, and in the cross of the transept. The pavement surrounded and highlighted funerary slabs of important characters, buried in the church since the time of the Carolingians.

At the beginning of the 16C, was done the flamboyant window gate to the south arm of the transept. The congregation of Saint-Maur, which reformed the abbey from 1627 and reclaimed many residential buildings, came back from the novices, built the Renaissance colonnade, which closed the choir. The Basilica Saint Remi  escape the demolitions of the revolutionary turmoil, but the interior is desecrated and ransacked. Invaluable interior furniture disappears like the holy light bulb destroyed by the revolutionaries in 1793, when the Benedictines are expelled from their monastery. After the French revolution, it became a parish church for the southern districts.. The gilded bronze shrine enclosed in the mausoleum is made on the occasion of the 14th centenary of the baptism of Clovis, in 1896. The “Crown of Light”, symbol of the celestial Jerusalem and whose ninety-six candles evoke the life of Saint Rémi, was redone. The Basilica St Remi has the nave and the transepts, Romanesque in style, are the oldest, while the facade of the south transept is the most recent. The choir and the apse date back to the 12-13C. The monuments of value that were in the church in the past were looted during the French revolution; The tomb of Saint Remi is a 19C revival. However, there are still 12C stained glass windows in the apse and the tapestries exhibited in the museum in the old Abbey. The Basilica of St. Remi and the adjoining Benedictine abbey of the 18C (museum Saint-Remi, Gallo-Roman collections in particular).

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This is a wonderful museum that we have touch base with and worth a combination with the basilica. The museum St Remi is located in the former abbey of Saint-Remi, an architectural jewel! The Saint-Remi museum invites you to relive the history of Reims and its region, from its origins. Archaeological and artistic collections and objects of everyday life tell you about the adventure of an ancient and medieval metropolis. Discover the figure of Saint Remi, bishop of Reims who baptized King Clovis, and follow in those of the monks, guardians of the Holy Ampoule used for the coronation of the kings of France …!

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It was only in 2000 that the Basilica St Remi was once again endowed with a great organ. It is exceptional by the height of its pipes, 6.5 meters integrated in a buffet of 11.5 meters. A commemorative plaque affixed in the southern collateral nave reminds us that three kings of the Franks were sacred in this Basilica: Charles III the Simple in 893, Robert I in 922, and Lothaire in 954.. Among the royal and ecclesial personalities buried in the basilica, we can note the Kings Carolingian Louis IV and Lothaire who were the subject of description at the time of their destruction under the French revolution.

A jewel and nothing else, a must see in Reims. And some webpages to help you plan your visit are:

The city of Reims on the basilica: https://www.reims.fr/la-ville-de-reims/reims-et-son-patrimoine/la-basilique-et-l-ancienne-abbaye-saint-remi-7496.html

The Reims tourist office on the basilica: https://www.reims-tourism.com/basilique-saint-remi/reims/pcu0000000000733

The St Remi museum webpage: https://musees-reims.fr/fr/musees/musee-saint-remi/

There you go folks , nothing more to say ,you need to come here. Reims is great, and not to forget this is Champagne country! Hope you enjoy the post to the Basilica St Remi of Reims!!

And remember, happy travels , good health, and many cheers to all!!

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