Local history owes much to the Guise-Lorraine family. To cardinal Charles de Lorraine, the city owes the introduction of the printing works, university and the theological seminary (the first in France). Reims became the centre of the Holy Catholic League. Very few of this period's fine buildings have survived (Hôtel de La Salle, Hôtel Le Vergeur, among others). The archbishop’s residence was transformed with the creation of a grand hall – Salle du Tau -, which was used for the civil ceremony following the coronation of the kings of France.
17C and 18C
A municipal reform that led to the merging of the town council and the aldermen took place in the early 17C, when the city hall and statue of Louis XIII on horseback were erected, at the same time that a large Jesuit college was built. The city suffered during the Thirty Years War and Colbert, who was a native of Reims, strove to create industries in order to boost the local economy. In 1690, Robert de Cotte modified the rear of the archbishop's palace by adding a sober and regular façade.
A great town planning scheme, much of which nonetheless got no further than the planning stage, resulted in the embellishment of the city in the 18C under the instigation of Legendre, who created a square in the middle of the city in honour of Louis XV, who is represented as a Roman emperor. Public promenades had also been laid out previously outside the town walls.
The French Revolution saw the abolition of nine parishes and led to the disappearance of about thirty religious buildings. In 1793, the ampulla of oil that had been preserved since the baptism of Clovis and which was used for the coronation of French kings was broken.
> Saint Remi museum (Musée Saint-Remi)
has a gallery entirely devoted to archaeology.
For further information, please contact the museum on
> The cathedral’s media resources centre (médiathèque)
has a permanent exhibition on archaeological digs and Gallo-Roman remains in Reims.
> The archaeological society (société archéologique champenoise) has published a book on Reims and its walls in the 4C AD.