Everyone has heard of Champagne, thanks to the most revered of all sparkling wines. However not everyone is familiar with the region that this effervescent liquid gold comes from, despite the fact that its name is known all over the world. The gentle rolling hills, temperate climate and chalky soil around Epernay proved ideal for making this sparkling wine, with a process which was brought to the area by monks from the south of France.Chalôns-en-Champagne
is the capital of the region, despite its small size. Explore the Saint-Etienne cathedral
, part of which dates back to the 12th century, and which features some remarkable stained glass windows.
The much larger university city of Reims
is the cultural and historic focal point of the region. This city has its own splendid medieval cathedral: Notre-Dame de Reims
is a Unesco World Heritage site, and this imposing edifice is where the kings of France were crowned in days gone by. You can learn more about the coronations and see all kinds of royal artefacts and tapestries at the nearby Palace of Tau
. Reims is also the commercial centre for the champagne industry.
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