Located in the Champagne region, 144 km (85 miles) northeast of Paris, Reims, also known as the « City of Kings », or the « City of builders », is a city whose history has given it an exceptional destiny and heritage.
Founded by the Gauls, it became a major city during the period of the Roman Empire. Reims played a prominent ceremonial role in French monarchical history as the traditional site of coronations of the kings of France. Hence, many Carolingian and Capetian kings where crowned at Notre-Dame of Reims Cathedral, which was later damaged by the Germans during the First World War but restored since. Furthermore, it offers some of the most beautiful buildings filled with history that have serviced France, now listed World Heritage by UNESCO: Notre-Dame Cathedral, Tau Palace, the old abbey of Saint-Rémi which, welcomes today tourists from all over the world.
Reims, along with Epernay and Ay, functions as one of the centres of champagne production. Many of the largest champagne producing houses, known as « les grandes marques », have their headquarters in Reims, and most open for tastings and tours. Champagne ages in the many caves and tunnels under Reims, which form a sort of maze below the city. Carved within chalk, some of these passages date back to Roman times.