City in the département of Marne, and largest commercial centre of the Champagne-Ardenne region, France, situated 130 km/80 mi northeast of Paris on the right bank of the River Vesle, a tributary of the Aisne; population (1999) 187,200, conurbation 215,600. From 987 all but six French kings were crowned here. The western facade of its cathedral, Notre Dame, is one of the masterpieces of the Middle Ages. In World War II the German High Command formally surrendered here to US general Eisenhower on 7 May 1945. Reims is the centre of the champagne trade and has textile, chemical, mechanical, metallurgical, and foodstuff manufactures.
Reims has a university, as well as stained-glass workshops where artists such as Braque and Chagall worked. The Musée St Denis displays French paintings from the 17th century to the present. The church of St Rémi, dating from the 11th century, is the oldest church in the city. There are also Roman remains here, including the Porte de Mars, dating from the 2nd century AD.
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