Reims has been the scene of some of the great events in the history of France, including the baptism of Clovis by Remi, the city's bishop, in about 498. The baptism inaugurated a tradition of crowning kings in Reims.
The armistice between Germany and France was also signed in Reims on 7 May 1945. The cathedral, the Palais du Tau, the Saint-Remi Basilica and its abbey (now a museum), are all listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Many traces of the city's Gallo-Roman past (Porte de Mars, Cryptoportique), from the Renaissance (Place Royale, Hôtel de la Salle and Hôtel de Ville) and the 20th century (Carnegie Library, Halles du Boulingrin, Opera, Foujita Chapel) make Reims a not-to-be-missed destination.
The cathedral is a jewel of Gothic art. Work began on it in the early 12th century. It was built later than Notre-Dame in Paris but earlier than Notre-Dame in Strasbourg, and was completed in the 14th century.
The cathedral is one of the major achievements of Gothic art in France, both for its architecture and its statuary, with no fewer than 2,303 statues. It has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1991.