While vacationing in Paris, a trip to the Champagne region makes for a great day-trip or overnight adventure. Here’s another reason to go: the Notre-Dame de Reims cathedral--long considered a symbolic monument for the Champagne region and the history of France itself--is celebrating 800 years. The festivities in Reims will continue until October 23, and you can imagine there will be a lot of bubbly involved. In addition to the concerts, street performances, and exhibitions, the cathedral is dramatically illuminated* at night- to better show off its impressive Gothic architecture.
(Note: The cathedral has been a UNESCO listed World Heritage site since December 1991, and will be unveiling brand new stained-glass windows by Imi Knoebel on June 25.) In a nice bit of symmetry, the City of Coronations is also celebrating the engineers and masons of today with the recent debut of the city’s tramway system.
*Produced by by Skertzò (Jean-Michel Quesne and Hélène Richard), the light show on the cathedral’s façade is called “Rêve de couleurs” and uses the latest video projection technology for an awesome spectacle: 20 minutes at dusk every night until October 23, 2011.