Palais du Tau - History and Facts | History Hit

Palais du Tau

Reims, Grand Est, France

Palais du Tau in Reims was where French monarchs would prepare for and celebrate their coronations.

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About Palais du Tau

Palais du Tau in Reims is a 17th century neo-Classical palace once used as the residence of each future French monarch the night before their coronation at Reims Cathedral.

Palais du Tau history

The monarch-to-be would also be dressed for the occasion there and the banqueting hall or “salle” of Palais du Tau, which is still adorned with fifteen century tapestries, was then used for a sumptuous post-coronation banquet. The most famous tapestry at Palais du Tau is the one of the baptism of King Clovis by Saint Remi.

It is thought that a palace has existed on the site of Palais du Tau since Reims was a Gallo-Roman town. However, it was in the late seventeenth to early eighteenth century that Jules Hardouin-Mansart and Robert de Cotte created the current “T” shaped building – “Tau” meaning “T” in Greek.

The royal treasury’s most remarkable objects are Charlemagne’s talisman (9th century) and Saint Remi’s chalice (12th century). The Sainte-Ampoule, or “holy flask”, contains the holy oil with which new kings were anointed during the coronation ceremony.

Palais du Tau today

Now a museum, Palais du Tau offers visitors a chance to see its various ceremonial rooms as well as pieces from Reims Cathedral and its treasury.

The museum houses a number of original statues from the external face of the Cathedral. It also houses other relics all set amongst a very interesting building. Visitors will enjoy the chance to get right up close to some of the original statues from the cathedral. Allow a couple of hours and you should not be disappointed.

Palais du Tau is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Getting to Palais du Tau

The museum of Palais du Tau’s address is 2 place du Cardinal Luçon, 51100 Reims, France. It is located in the heart of the city of Reims, adjacent to Reims Cathedral.

Gare de Reims is the closest train station to the cathedral, roughly a 15 minute walk, or 7 minute drive away. If you are travelling by car from Paris to Reims Cathedral, take the A4 and exit at junction 25.

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