chapter  19
14 Pages

The Cathedral of Reims

WithWhitney S. Stoddard

When the fire of May 6, 1210, consumed much of the town of Reims and damaged the cathedral beyond repair, the choir of Soissons was nearing completion and Chartres had been under construction for sixteen of the twenty-six years needed for the virtual completion of its vaults. In 1914, the shelling of Reims set fire to the roof and to the scaffolding around the north tower and as a result calcined the left portal and much of the tower. Around 400, Bishop Saint Niçaise moved the Episcopal See to the center of Reims and, according to Reinhardt, occupied part of the Roman baths. During the Carolingian period, as the importance of Reims increased, a new cathedral based on the monastery of Saint-Riquier at Centula was constructed by Archbishop Ebbon after 817. There are certain refinements in the choir and nave of the cathedral at Reims which are often overlooked.