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reims, art deco capital .diaporama2 { margin-bottom:5px; background-color:#edece2; font-size:11px; } function showpanorama(panoramaname) { javascript:window.open('panora' + panoramaname + '.htm','_blank','status=yes,top=450,left=450,width=420,height=300'); } function diapopos() { } 01/01/07 contents > all destinations var menu2 = new magmenu(); menu2.add('',''); > other destinations var menu3 = new magmenu(); var menu4 = new magmenu(); menu3.add('reims','../../../../dyn/controller/hblistperformpage?strreflex=122159'); menu4.add('reims','../../../../dyn/controller/poilistperformpage?productid=41102&strreflex=122159'); > hotels > restaurants var menu5 = new magmenu(); menu5.add('reims','../../../../dyn/controller/poilistperformpage?productid=41104&strreflex=122159'); > tourist attractions tourism and gastronomy delights from reims reims, the town of champagne and chocolate, also has excellent butchers, cheesemongers and bakers-confectioners. viamichelin > magazine > tourism and gastronomy |send to a friend |print this article | reims, art deco capital by georges rouzeau123456789101112 var diapoimgs = new array(); var tmpimg; tmpimg = new image(); tmpimg.src = '../img/tourisme-reims-diapo01.jpg'; diapoimgs.push(tmpimg); tmpimg = new image(); tmpimg.src = '../img/tourisme-reims-diapo02.jpg'; diapoimgs.push(tmpimg); tmpimg = new image(); tmpimg.src = '../img/tourisme-reims-diapo03.jpg'; diapoimgs.push(tmpimg); tmpimg = new image(); tmpimg.src = '../img/tourisme-reims-diapo04.jpg'; diapoimgs.push(tmpimg); tmpimg = new image(); tmpimg.src = '../img/tourisme-reims-diapo05.jpg'; diapoimgs.push(tmpimg); tmpimg = new image(); tmpimg.src = '../img/tourisme-reims-diapo06.jpg'; diapoimgs.push(tmpimg); tmpimg = new image(); tmpimg.src = '../img/tourisme-reims-diapo07.jpg'; diapoimgs.push(tmpimg); tmpimg = new image(); tmpimg.src = '../img/tourisme-reims-diapo08.jpg'; diapoimgs.push(tmpimg); tmpimg = new image(); tmpimg.src = '../img/tourisme-reims-diapo09.jpg'; diapoimgs.push(tmpimg); tmpimg = new image(); tmpimg.src = '../img/tourisme-reims-diapo10.jpg'; diapoimgs.push(tmpimg); tmpimg = new image(); tmpimg.src = '../img/tourisme-reims-diapo11.jpg'; diapoimgs.push(tmpimg); tmpimg = new image(); tmpimg.src = '../img/tourisme-reims-diapo12.jpg'; diapoimgs.push(tmpimg); © g. rouzeau/viamichelin, pascal strittalmost totally destroyed during the first world war, reims was subsequently to become a privileged bastion of art deco. a remarkable exhibition and a recently inaugurated tourist circuit are an invitation to rediscover the coronation city of the kings of france in a new light.see map of reims journalist albert londres was in reims on 19th september 1914, when the cathedral of the kings of france (25 were crowned there, from louis viii to charles x) burnt down. this was the subject of his first major report. german bombings later destroyed 80% of the city. at the end of the war, reims became a laboratory of french architecture, with around 400 architects working to raise it up from its ruins. the reconstruction (1920-1930), partly financed by american funds, prioritized a geometrical plan, giving pride of place to broad avenues and streets in anticipation of the development of the automobile. remarkably, unlike in bourges or chartres where the urban fabric swamps the city's finest monument, in reims the cathedral can be seen from everywhere, thanks to a skilful play on perspective. in this post-war period, the most diverse styles - haussmannian, eclectic, modernist - were given free rein. art deco, in embryonic form since the 1910s, nevertheless dominates by a short head. the city where clovis was baptised has therefore decided to show this heritage to advantage, thanks to a walking tourist circuit accompanied by an audio guide. examples of art deco architecture are scattered all over the city. you have to walk slowly, looking upwards, in order to see ceramics, pediments, canted angles, sgraffiti, stained-glass windows, pressed glass and ionic capitals.© g. rouzeau/viamichelinif you prefer to do your own thing, we recommend starting, as you leave the station, with the cours and place drouet-d'erlon, which was completely destroyed in the spring of 1918. high up, you will see large gables of flemish inspiration, bas-reliefs with ionic volutes and bouquets, and stylised wrought ironwork. at number 91, the building housing the éclaireur de l'est newspaperis very much worth a look. the most surprising construction remains the waïda bakery and tearoom (number 3-5): take a seat in the room at the back to admire the stained-glass windows and engraved glasswork of jacques simon, the colourful mosaics and, above all, the magnificent burr wood panelling, enhanced by little marquetry pictures indicating meal times and corresponding dishes. the staff at this fine eatery (see article) are used to serving amidst the clicking of camera flashes. if you want to have lunch or a drink beneath another glass roof by jacques simon, head for the famous café du palais (see article).© g. rouzeau/viamichelinthe other beautiful avenue in reims is cours jean-baptiste langlet, which its designers, portevin and sainsaulieu, intended as the city's champs-élysées. it is today a fine promenade facing the north tower of the cathedral. from art deco to haussmannian style, the avenue presents great architectural diversity and a lot of interesting wrought ironwork. number 41, a town house designed by the main art deco architect of reims, constant, boasts numerous bas-reliefs and ionic volutes. nearby (at number 45), the "garage" of a house created by marcel rousseau is topped by a pergola and large doric columns. two other art deco buildings in reims are worth a visit in their own right: the carnegie library and saint-nicaise church (access via bus line d, bus stop opposite the law courts).© g. rouzeau/viamichelinthe carnegie librarystanding on place carnegie, behind the east end of the cathedral, this is the masterpiece of reims art deco. it was entirely financed by the famous american patron of the arts and philanthropist andrew carnegie (1835-1919), who considered reading to be a rampart against barbarism.  the project began in 1921, under the auspices of max sainsaulieu, and was completed by his son louis in the spirit of art deco in 1928 - the entrance door was displayed at the paris exhibition of decorative arts in 1925. behind a very geometrical façade, the lobby is striking for its lavish decor: a fountain (now without water) embodying the source of knowledge, panels of mosaics inlaid with algerian onyx and bands of green marble, and lastly an extraordinary hanging lantern by master glassmaker jacques simon. the treasures contained within the carnegie library notably include one of the largest collections of merovingian manuscripts in france. every thursday, the chief librarian brings out a precious work that he presents to the public (free registration).© g. rouzeau/viamichelinsaint-nicaise churchthis private church is at the heart of the chemin-vert garden city housing estate, forerunner of the modern council housing estates. it was the industrialist and philanthropist georges charbonneaux who entrusted the works for this (completed in 1934) to jean-marcel auburtin, architect of the salle pleyel concert hall in paris). with a central plan, the church is very sober on the outside. inside, it's another story: rené lalique created the little chandeliers, the dove of the blessed sacrament and stained-glass windows made of pressed glass in the shape of enigmatic angels, which are exquisite; maurice denis decorated the walls of two transept apses and the baptistery with frescoes. on your way out, go and admire the great variety of the 617 houses of this garden city: there are no less than fourteen types of house, semi-detached or terraced, some of them alsatian style with half-hipped roofs.tgv estin june 2007, reims city centre will be just 45 minutes (as opposed to 1hr 45 on average at present) from paris by the tgv est, following the restoration of its station, which will accommodate 8 round trips per day! the entire service will be provided behind the station, on a new concourse, in the district of clairmarais, currently undergoing renovation. reims station will be linked by regional express train (ter) to a brand new tgv station deep in the countryside at bezanne, 6.5 km (4 miles) southwest of reims. this connecting station will be called champagne-ardenne tgv. from here, passengers will be able to go directly by tgv to the gare de l'est in paris, of course, but also to the tgv stations in île-de-france (charles de gaulle airport tgv, marne-la-vallée-chessy tgv, and massy tgv stations), and cities such as bordeaux, nantes, rennes, lille and strasbourg, as well as lorraine tgv station. around the station, a new district will be created, including a business park, housing, hotels and restaurants. practical information: www.tgvesteuropeen.comantonin daum: vase with blue spots, circa 1925.nancy fine art museumexhibition: "années folles, années d'ordre: art deco from reims to new york"this exhibition at the reims fine art museum is already a success, attracting over 10,000 visitors in one month. the "art deco" style takes its name from the 1925 exhibition of decorative arts in paris. as david liot, exhibition curator and commissioner, explained, "art deco is an art of collage that is difficult to describe": references to ancient greek and roman civilization and french louis xv and restoration styles mix with cubism, fauvism, exoticism and even egyptophilia! not forgetting a little revanchist and chauvinistic aspect to shake off the germanic influences in this post-war period. the exhibition begins by paying tribute to two natives of the region: rené lalique, born near épernay, was to develop glass techniques and become one of the most famous representatives of art deco; raymond subes, a master wrought ironworker of reims, created gates for the pomery champagne house, for biscuit manufacturer fossier and for the town hall. the exhibition covers art deco in all its forms, displaying sublime fabrics by sonia delaunay, dresses by paul poiret and jean patou, a lacquer screen by jean dunand, and cubist boxes in champlevé enamel by jean goulden. queen elizabeth ii has even lent a large presentation box by goulden, designed to display england's oldest champagne glass. last merit of the exhibition: it is an invitation to take another stroll through the streets of reims.practical informationtourist office of the city of reimswww.reims-tourisme.com carnegie librarywww.bm-reims.fr reims, an art deco citywww.reimsartdeco.fr where to stay hôtel crystal. this modest little family-run hotel, set at the bottom of a garden along drouet-d'erlon avenue, still has its 1920 lift and original art deco decor in the lobby. 86, place drouet d'erlon51000 reims.tel: +33 (0)3 26 88 44 44. fax: +33 (0)3 26 47 49 28e-mail: reservation@hotel-crystal.frwww.hotel-crystal.fr
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