Many towns in France were built in the art deco style from 1920 to 1940, but Reims is considered the capital of French art deco. Reims was heavily damaged in the First World War, so the town had to be rebuilt afterwards. The town commissioned more than a hundred architects for the reconstruction work, who mostly rebuilt Reims in the art deco style, although some other architectural styles were also revived. At this time, Reims was like a creative laboratory for architects. But predominantly art deco characterised the look of the town in the long term. Especially beautiful houses from this period stand on Boulevard Foch and Cours Jean-Baptiste Langlet. The absolute highlight however, is the Bibliothèque Carnegie; named after the prominent Scottish industrialist, Andrew Carnegie, who provided the means with which to build the library.
From outside the library resembles a Greek temple, inside, the beautiful mosaics, the chandelier in the entrance hall and the huge glass roof by Jacques Gruber fascinate.
2 Place Carnegie, 51100 Reims
Les Halles du Boulingrin is another architectural highlight in the art deco style. The nearly 100-metres long market hall is a listed building and impresses above all with the spectacular ceiling construction, but also with the great choice of fish and sausage products, fruit, vegetables, fragrant spices and the finest specialities from Champagne.
50 Rue de Mars, 51100 Reims | Opening hours: Wednesday, Friday & Saturday from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Really kitsch and a little bit glitzy, that’s the Café du Palais. You’ll be staring so much, you’ll forget to eat. But just for a moment, you should ignore the nice environment and concentrate on the exquisite specialities that are served in the Café du Palais: La Champenoise, a plate of ham from Reims, Chaource cheese from Champagne, Lagres soft cheese, potatoes and salad is heavenly. Indeed the desserts are worth resisting temptation for too. The Café Gourmand recommends itself, so you can taste a bit of everything, or lle flottante, floating islands with pink biscuit, vanilla and caramel.
14 Place Myron Herrick, 51100 Reims
Pink biscuits aren’t just part of a delicious dessert, these scrumptious biscuits can be eaten on their own, for example with a refreshing glass of champagne. In the 17th century, kings were welcomed to Reims with pink biscuits and dipped these in their champagne. Since 1756 these delicate pink-coloured biscuits had been baked in Maison Fossier in Reims, thus making it the oldest biscuiterie today in France.
Besides the tasty pink biscuits, at Maison Fossier you can also buy delicate macarons, mustard specialities and fine gingerbread.
25 cours Jean-Baptiste Langlet, 51100 Reims
Reims doesn’t just have fine foods and art deco to offer, but some really cool street art too. A must-see is the 400-metre long wall in the industrial area, Port Sec – La Huselle, which the SNCF made available to 60 artists from Reims and all over the world to brighten it up with murals and tags in a 72-hour project. Under the direction of the local ZI Artistes a huge total work of art was created, that today is France’s longest mural.
ZI Port Sec, 51100 Reims
What could be better than a fantastic dinner with a heavenly view? In the panoramic restaurant, Il Duomo, on the 7th floor of the Holiday Inn hotel, the Italian head chef spoils us with superb Mediterranean creations. These alone are a pleasure; but combined with a glass of champagne and the heavenly view of the town at sunset, the meal was a definite highlight of the trip to Reims.
46 Rue Buirette, 51100 Reims
By day the cathedral in Reims is an impressive sight. In earlier times, 25 French monarchs were crowned here, making the cathedral one of the most significant places in French history. More is learned about this history in the impressive sound and light show ‘Rêve de Couleurs’, in which the cathedral becomes the stage on mild summer evenings. A dream in colour, bestowing something magical on nights in Reims.
Place du Cardinal Luçon, 51100 Reims