Reims, or Rheims, France, a city in Marne department, Champagne, about 80 miles (130 km) northeast of Paris. Reims lies amid extensive vineyards and is the chief center of the champagne industry in France. The city is also notable for the production of woolen textiles.
In Reims is a Gothic cathedral, begun in 1211 and completed a century later. Its facade and rose windows are considered medieval masterpieces. Tapestries and sculpture adorn the interior. Most of the interior and much of the irreplaceable stained glass were destroyed by shelling in World War I. During 1927-38 the cathedral was restored, largely at the expense of the Rockefeller Foundation. Also in Reims are the University of Reims, a museum of fine art, and Roman remains, including a triumphal arch.
Reims was a leading city of Roman Gaul. Clovis I was crowned king of all Franks here in 496; later the city became the traditional site of French coronations. Probably most historic was the coronation of Charles VII here in 1429 in the presence of Joan of Arc. Reims was the scene of many battles in French history and was almost leveled by more than three years of German shelling during World War I. At the end of World War II, the city was the site of Germany's unconditional surrender to the Allies, on May 7, 1945.