In 1874 the construction of a chain of detached forts started in the vicinity, the French Army having selected Reims as one of the chief defences of the northern approaches to Paris. Atop the ridge of St Thierry stands a fort of the same name, which with the neighbouring work of Chenay closes the west side of the place. To the north the hill of Brimont has three works guarding the Laon railway and the Aisne canal. Farther east, on the old Roman road, stands the Fort de Fresnes. Due east, the hills of Arnay are crowned with five large and important works which cover the approaches from the upper Aisne. Fort de la Pompelle, which hosts a World War I museum featuring a rich collection of German uniforms, and Montbré close the southeast side, and the Falaise hills on the southwest are open and unguarded. The perimeter of the defences measures just under 22 miles, and the forts are at a mean distance of 6 miles (10 km) from the centre of the city.
Monument to the Black Army of Reims
The original monument was erected in 1924 where the Boulevard Henry Vasnier meets the Avenue du Général Giraud. The first stone was placed by André Maginot, Minister of War on 29 October 1922. This ceremony was also addressed by Blaise Diagne, the Senegalese political leader. In July 1924 the monument was inaugurated with a Military and Sports fete presided over by Édouard Daladier, the Minister of the colonies. General Louis Archinard was the president of the committee that supervised the erection of the monument, highlighting the role of African troops of the 1st Colonial Infantry Corps in the defense of Reims from the German Army in 1918. They were particularly renowned for their tenacious defence of Fort de la Pompelle. 10,000 people attended the fete which was held immediately following the inauguration. The original monument, consisting of five figures, was a replica of a similar monument erected in Bamako, Mali in January 1924. The monument was dismantled during the German occupation in September 1940. In September 1958, on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the Defence of Reims, a new monument was started. This was completed in time for a second inauguration ceremony on 6 October 1963, with Pierre Messmer, Minister of Armies, Jean Sainteny, Minister of veterans, Jacques Foccart, secretary general of the Communauté et les affaires africaines et malgaches, and General Georges Catroux, grand chancellor of the Légion d’honneur. In 2008, on the occasion of the ninetieth anniversary of the defence of Reims, a major ceremony was held in remembrance of the Black Army of Reims, attended by Jean-Marie Bockel, Rama Yade and Adeline Hazan.
See also: Château de Condé
Paris door, Reims
Reims in 1916
The Church of St Jacques dates from the 13th to the 16th centuries. A few blocks from the cathedral, it stands as of 2009 in a neighborhood of shopping and restaurants. What remains of the Abbey of St. Denis has become a Fine Arts Museum. The old College of the Jesuits also survives as a museum. The churches of St Maurice (partly rebuilt in 1867), St André, and St Thomas (erected from 1847 to 1853, under the patronage of Cardinal Gousset, now buried within its walls) also draw tourists.
The Temple protestant de Reims was designed by Charles Letrosne in a flamboyant neo-Gothic style. Originally the walls were lavishly decorated in Art Deco style by Gustave Louis Jaulmes, but in 1973 the walls were painted white, giving an austere appearance.
The Foujita Chapel (1966), designed and decorated by the Japanese School of Paris artist Tsuguharu Foujita, became famed for its frescos. It was listed as an historic monument in 1992.
The city hall (hôtel de ville), erected in the 17th century and enlarged in the 19th, features a pediment with an equestrian statue of Louis XIII (reigned 1610 to 1643).
The Surrender Museum is the building in which on 7 May 1945, General Eisenhower and the Allies received the unconditional surrender of the German Wehrmacht.
The Carnegie library, the former public library built with money donated by Andrew Carnegie to the city of Reims after World War I, is a remarkable example of Art Deco in France.
Source : wikipedia