Snapshots of Twenty -Four Hours in Reims

My guidebook was a bit sniffy about Reims. It praised the cathedral, but described the town as dull. In the event, although I found the cathedral impressive, indeed beautiful, it would not be the reason I would return to the town, and I am not sure I would visit it again.
There are parallels with Westminster Abbey in London. Both are gothic, both the churches of coronation, though in the case of Notre Dame de Reims, it are obviously not expecting to gear up for another such occasion any time soon. In fact it didn’t feel that they would be gearing up for any religious occasion at all. I saw no sign that the church is used for its original purpose; no details about services, no busy clerics rushing by.
Westminster Abbey is a hive of activity, a busy working church with several services each day, a corner reminding people of the work of Amnesty International and drawing attention to particular prisoners of conscience, virgers swishing by in black, and the whole gossipy friendly community of the people, clergy and laity, who work there welcoming tourists and worshippers alike.
Reims cathedral is dramatic and empty. A museum.
So it was the secular side of the town that delighted. Art Deco in unexpected corners. The fun of looking up and seeing mosaics, or flowers stencilled onto a building. My photos aren’t very good, but here are a few that might give you a flavour of the town.


12 thoughts on “Snapshots of Twenty -Four Hours in Reims

  1. Love the chandelier. Very Art Deco.

    You nearly had me begging for a room for the night. I’ve been in Heathrow and got to Kings Cross to find all trains delayed and the potential of cancellations. Luckily they reopened the line and I’m on my way home. Only 90 minutes late 😦

  2. These are wonderful photos, Isobel. I especially like how you describe Westminster as I have been there several times. I also like York Minster for the reasons you describe.

  3. Great photos Isobel…..I particularly love that art deco style chandelier…beautiful. Looks like you were able to find a lot of interesting “details” to photograph in Reims.


    • It is worth seeing, but it is curiously lacking in atmosphere. It has given me something to think about. I said it was like a museum, but that’s wrong too. Most museums are lively places where visitors interact. The cathedral is maintained, there is scaffolding at the west front at the moment as the cathedral is cleaned, new windows are installed.

  4. Enjoyed this – my proof reading eye wanted to correct to ‘verger’ so I checked dictionary. I’m right, but your version is more logical, cos the root is Latin virga = rod.

    Do you look at the Free Word Centre events? Just checked it and thought several coming up might interest you.


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