Friday, 1 July 2011

Basilica St. Remi, Reims (Rheims)

Day 5 of the 2010 Tour de France saw the 4th Stage being run from Cambrai in Northern France to Reims (formerly known as Rheims), a distance of a little over 150 km. This was once again a flat stage and the day's race was won by Alessandro Petacchi. However Fabian Cancellara retained the overall lead.

Reims is located in the French region called Champagne, and when France was a monarchy, this was where the coronation of the rulers took place in Rheims Cathedral. However I have sketched the Basilica of St. Remi and not the cathedral.

This basilica was originally the abbey church of an abbey founded in the 6th century, and came to be known as the Abbey of St. Remi because it held the relic of St. Remi the Bishop of Reims who converted the King of Franks to Christianity in the 11th century A.D. This was also the abbey where Charlemagne received Pope Leo lll.

The original church was built in the 6th century but rebuilt in the 11th century, and added to in the 12th, 13th, 15th, 17th, and 19th centuries. During the first world war it was very badly damaged (like Rheims Cathedral), but was very carefully restored over a 40 year period.

My sketch of the Basilica St. Remi is approximately 12cm x 10cm and I am grateful to Mattis whose photgraph of the Basilica I have used as reference.

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