Thursday 14 September 2017, 14:55


The 12th most populous city in France, with 183,042 inhabitants, Reims can pride itself on having played a pivotal part in French history. Its claims to fame include having been the venue for the baptism of Clovis and the crowning of numerous subsequent monarchs. This explains two of its nicknames: the City of Coronations and the City of Kings. Against this backdrop, its cathedral – Notre-Dame de Reims, built on the very same site where Clovis was baptised – is among the most renowned in France. It is the jewel in the crown of a city that is replete with historical, cultural and architectural treasures.

Besides its monuments, its museums and its Art Deco façades, Reims has another mouth-watering draw for visitors from across the globe: champagne. The world-famous drink originated nearby and was a strong contributor to the city's development and soaring profile following its invention by Dom Perignon in the 17th century. The bubbly beverage remains a major economic driving force for the city and surrounding region to this day.

Football As befitting the city where they are based, Stade Reims are one of the most hallowed outfits in French football. Founded in 1931, their heyday came during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. The two-time European Champion Clubs' Cup runners-up – they were beaten by Real Madrid in the final on both occasions, in 1956 and 1959 – dominated domestically during this period and captured the imagination thanks to their inventive, entertaining brand of attacking football and illustrious individuals including Raymond Kopa, Just Fontaine, Robert Jonquet and Roger Piantoni.