Saint-Remi Abbey | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Saint-Remi Abbey

Reims, Grand Est, France

Luke Tomes

24 Nov 2020
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Saint-Remi Abbey

Saint-Remi Abbey is a UNESCO listed historic Benedictine abbey in Reims which was built in the eleventh century and renovated in the twelfth century.

Saint-Remi Abbey history

Upon its construction, Saint-Remi Abbey replaced the former St Christopher’s Chapel in housing the relics of Saint Remi (440-533 AD), an archbishop of Gaul who famously baptised the Frankish king, Clovis I and was canonized after his death.

After many years of resisting conversion to Christianity, Clovis I (466-511), the first king of the Franks, was finally baptised in 496 AD by Remigius, Bishop of Reims and Apostle of the Franks.The conversion of the king led to the conversion of all the Frankish nation.

Remigius died in 553 AD, but in 1099 a grand abbey and basilica were constructed at the location of Clovis’s baptism, and relics of Saint-Remi (as he was now known) were transferred here from Reims cathedral. Later additions to the buildings resulted in a beautiful blend of Romanesque and Gothic architecture.

In the courtyard near the Basilica is a monument to the baptism of Clovis. There is also a statue of Clovis on the front of Reims Cathedral – the smallest one in the center of a line of kings over the main entrance.

Several kings were crowned in the abbey church and are buried there. In 1627, Saint-Remi was affiliated with the maurist congregation. It was suppressed in the French Revolution, but the abbey church (built 1005–1170) is extant, and the conventual buildings now form a new museum.

Saint-Remi Abbey today

Saint-Remi Abbey is known as a hidden gem within France. Often cited as more architecturally impressive than Reims Cathedral and many other buildings like it throughout France, the Abbey’s breathtaking interior is a sight to behold. The Abbey is also noted for its peacefulness and lack of popular tourism, making a visit all the more worthwhile.

The Abbey of Saint-Remi, together with the nearby cathedral of Notre-Dame de Reims and Palace of Tau, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991.

Getting to Saint-Remi Abbey

The address of Saint-Remi Abbey is 53 rue Simon 51100 Reims, France. The Abbey is open all the time and admission is free.

Gare de Reims and Maison Blanche train stations are 20 to 30 minutes away from the abbey, so it is highly recommended that you get a taxi from if you are coming from either of these stations.

If you are travelling by car from Paris to Saint-Remi Abbey, take Quai de l’Hôtel de Ville, Quai Henri IV, Quai de la Rapée and Quai de Bercy to the A4 in Charenton-le-Pont. Follow the A4 to Avenue de Champagne (D951) in Reims. Take exit 25-Reims and then to Saint Remi from the A344. Continue on Avenue de Champagne. Take Avenue Saint-Pol to Rue du Châtelet.

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