Insider's Guide to Reims

Major attractions, tips and our top things to see and do.

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Palais du Tau (Tau Palace)

The Palais du Tau (Tau Palace) owes its decidedly un-French name to its floor plan, which resembles the letter "T." The site's original structure was a sixth-century Roman villa, which later became a Carolingian palace. Its current moniker stuck after 1131, though that building gave way to Gothic design early in the 16th century and then its current Baroque incarnation in 1671.

Prior to their coronations at Nortre Dame of Reims, the kings of France would stay at the palace. Following ceremonies, they would return for a celebration, the most recent of which took place in 1825.

In the last quarter of the 20th century, the Palace of Tau became home to the Musée de l'Œuvre, a collection of statues, tapestries and reliquaries from Reims' cathedral. The palace is both a national monument and a UNESCO World Heritage site, declared in 1991. Museum tours display the royal apartments as well as certain antiquities from the cathedral treasury.

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Perhaps the most amazing and compelling of the cathedral's treasures on display are the remains of the Holy Ampulla, the coronation flask used since the anointing of Clovis in the fifth century, as well as the ninth-century Talisman of Charlemagne.

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