Reims, Champagne Country - Stein Travel
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Reims

A visitor's first impression of Reims (pronounced Rhance) is of a sprawling industrial town peppered with concrete apartment blocks, the result of World War I bombs and later disastrous town planning. However Reims is an ancient Roman city and the birthplace of the French nation - it contains one of the most impressive Gothic cathedrals in France, the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims ,where dynasties of French monarchs were crowned starting with Clovis, first king of the Franks. The neighbouring Basilique St-Rémi is even older and, half Gothic, half Romanesque in style, includes the old royal abbey which is now a museum documenting the history of the town. Most visitors come to Reims not so much for history but for the hedonistic pleasure of visiting the cellars of its great champagne producers. This is the home of the world's best bubbly. The best of the best is to be sampled at the Maison de Pommery, which has more than 10 miles (16km) of tunnels extending 100ft (30m) down into the chalk below its Gothic superstructure. Move on to Mumm, which contains 25 million bottles of slowly fermenting champagne in their vaults, and then Taittinger and Veuve Clicquot. All give a guided tour of the cellars and champagne making process, followed by a tasting.

Information & Facts

Address

Reims is situated 90 miles (145km) east of Paris

Admission

Maison de Pommery EUR11; Mumm EUR10; Taittinger EUR7; Veuve Clicquot EUR10

Language

French is the official language.

Money

The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in France. Currency can be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change and some large hotels, though you will get a better exchange rate at the ATMs. Major credit cards are widely accepted, as are travellers cheques, particularly in major tourist destinations. Foreign currency is not accepted.

Time

Local time is GMT +1 (GMT +2 between last Sunday in March and last Sunday in October).

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