Abbey of Saint-Remi

In the former royal abbey of Saint- Remi the holy oil to anoint the kings of France was for centuries preserved in the coronation. Today it contains the city's historical museum of Reims and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991.


Since the 7th century, developed at the grave of St. Remigius († 533 ), a religious community. At the end of the 8th century, the place took on a group of monks around 790 accepted the monastic rules of the Benedictines by Archbishop Tilpin. 930 the monastery was strongly fortified to be protected against the incursions of the Normans and the Hungarians. From 945 the monastery joined by Archbishop Hugh of Vermandois the reform movement of Cluny.

1049 was the grave of the saint, the new building of the Abbey Church by Pope Leo IX. consecrated. After a fire in 1098 that destroyed the church in part, it was in the 12th century under Abbot Odon again enlarged and embellished.

From the 17th century, the abbey buildings were gradually replaced by new buildings in Baroque style. Archbishop Charles Maurice Le Tellier awarded the construction contract to the architect Jean Bonhomme. The last was 1709-1730, a new cloister. The church, however, remained unchanged. On the night of 15th to January 16th, 1774 large parts of the monastery buildings were destroyed by fire, but were rebuilt in the classical style.

In the French Revolution, the monastery was closed in 1792 and expelled the monks. In the conventual buildings initially a military hospital was housed until 1816 when the city hospital.

Convent building

After the fire of 1774 they were rebuilt in the classical style by the court architect Louis Duroche. He was mainly responsible for the current facade of the abbey. The conversions in the 18th century still remained the chapter house and the parlor ( parlatorium ) obtained in the Gothic style.

After the Second World War, the idea of ​​building a municipal museum in the building was built. It was opened in August 1978, will include an archaeological collection especially the Roman period in the former refectory and the kitchen of the 18th -century focus of the collection is further evidence from the history of the town and the Abbey, such as a series of tapestries from the 16th century depicting scenes from the life of St. Remigius shows. She was a commissioned work of Archbishop Robert II de Lenoncourt.

Abbey Church

The abbey church was built over the ( legendary ) grave of St. Remigius, and was grave church of many archbishops and some Frankish and French kings, including Carloman I ( † 771 ), Louis IV († 954) and Lothar († 986 ).

The two-tower facade is framed by 56 m high towers, the southern dates back to the 11th century, the northern came about in the 19th century restorations. During the First World War, the vault of the church was destroyed. The reconstruction lasted 40 years until 1958. Unadorned The nave is 122 feet long and only 26 feet wide. The sanctuary is surrounded by a choir dealing with a ring of chapels. The church was initially a flat ceiling and was later made ​​to curve, which can be seen on the wall transitions and different stones even today. The nave thus acts a little stocky.

While the wall structure in the boat with round arches, galleries above comprises with large arched openings and clerestory windows three zones, a further zone received the early Gothic choir added to the triforium.