#AtoZChallenge: April 20, 2013 ~ Reims (and the Smiling Angel)


L'Ange au Sourire The Remi, a tribe of the Gauls, founded you as their capital a century BC.  By 260 AD you were Christian.  In your cathedral, Notre-Dame de Reims, many Kings of France were crowned.  In 496 Clovis was baptised on your altar. There stood Joan of Arc, at the side of Charles VII when he was consecrated in 1429, Joan who was later burnt at the stake in Rouen, and became Saint Joan.   In the first World War – that is the first European civil war of the 20th century, until intervention by North America saved Britain and France from likely defeat – the Reich’s artillery nearly destroyed you.  In my students days there, one could hardly see your church through the scaffoldings.  There on the main portal is the archangel who, one evening, told me that angels were holly women with wings.  L’Ange au Sourire maybe the most seductive symbol of the Christian Medieval age in the whole of Europe…

And, let’s not forget, you are the capital of that beautiful province of Champagne where they make the wine of the same name…

Clovis on French Wikipedia

L’Ange de Reims at http://remue.net/bulletin/TB040815.htm

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