Cinnaminson, New Jersey
February 14, 2004
The palace is located right next door to the cathedral and is connected to it. You can enter the palais from the cathedral - there is a ticket office near the south gate. Or you can enter through the separate entrance on the righthand side of the cathedral. There is a bookshop next to the entrance to the museum.
The palais was built in the 12th century as archiepiscopal palace, rebuilt after the fire in the 13th century, refurbished several times over the next 700 years, until it was severely damaged during WWI and restored in the 1970s. Inside the palace is an interesting mixture of styles: several rooms are early Gothic, several are flamboyant Gothic of the 15th century, and several have classical décor. The palace has a collection of tapestries showing the life of the Virgin made in the 16th century. They were donated to the cathedral by Robert de Lenoncourt. Each tapestry is inspired by the Legende Doree de Jacques de Voragine and illustrated editions of the Bible for the poor. There are also sculptures from the cathedral dating back to the 13th-16th centuries. A very interesting feature of the palais is a large hall with domed ceilings, walls covered with royal lilies, and an enormous fireplace with coats of arms and Valois lilies that has tapestries showing the story of Clovis, the first Christian French king. The tapestries are 17th-century and made in Brussels.
Then there is also the treasury of the cathedral, with golden artifacts from the Middle Ages to the 18th century, sacred ornaments of Charles X (who was the last king crowned in Reims in the 19th century), vases and carafes, crowns, crosses, chains with medals. Also, behind the glass, you can see the lower chapel discovered in the 1920s, which has fragments of sculptures from that chapel from 1211-1221.
From journal Sightseeing in Reims