Come to this church on a sunny afternoon to see the magnificent stained-glass windows at their best, as the sun’s rays illuminate the ornate nave.
St. Rémi Basilica is considered an architectural wonder and is among the most beautiful buildings in Reims. Soak up the serene atmosphere of the peaceful church and explore the museum in the adjacent abbey.
First built in the 11th century, the basilica was badly damaged in World War I and took 40 years to restore. The church is named after a bishop, now the city’s patron saint, who converted the historical figure of Clovis, King of the Franks, to Christianity in the 6th century. Find the tomb of Rémi inside.
Admire the stunning façade, which features a large pediment and towers that flank each side. The building was added to and partially reconstructed in the 12th century, resulting in an amalgamation of Romanesque and Gothic architectural styles.
Stroll around the space in front of the basilica and gaze up at its extraordinary form. Steps lead up to the large main portal. Enter the imposing church and marvel at the colorful stained-glass windows dotted around the walls.
The interior also blends several different architectural styles, with a Romanesque nave, a chancel with Gothic additions and a Renaissance-style chancel colonnade. Bring along a handful of coins. For a small fee, you can turn the lights on and get a better view of the detailed décor.
While the church’s collection of 12th-century stained-glass windows look best when the sun is shining, it’s well worth returning here at night to see the structure in a different light. On Saturday nights in July, August and September, a music and light show is held at the church.
Look around the 12th-century abbey located next to the basilica. Peruse the religious relics in the museum and the sculpted items of the chapter house.
St. Rémi Basilica is about a 10-minute car journey south of the center of Reims. Walk to the religious site from the Town Hall in less than 30 minutes or cycle in about 10 minutes. The church is near the Reims Cathedral, as well as several Champagne houses, including Ruinart and Champagne Taittinger.