In the north-east of France is the region called Champagne-Ardenne. This sonorous name refers to the historical landscape of the Champagne and the Ardennes Mountains. Around 1.35 million people live in an area of 25,600 square kilometers. The capital of the Champagne-Ardenne region is Chalons-en-Champagne. The largest and most historically significant city, however, Reims is in the Champagne-Ardenne region.
Geography and Landscapes of the Champagne-Ardenne
The border in the north stretches along Belgium. The eastern part of the Champagne-Ardenne borders the Lorraine and Franche-Comte regions. The south lies on Burgundy. Ile-de-France and Picardy are located in the south of the Champagne-Ardenne.
The main rivers that flow through the area are the Sein e, their tributaries Marne and Aue, as well as the Aisene and the tributary Oise. The Meuse also flows through Champagne-Ardenne. Dams have been built on the larger rivers to ensure that there are no flood disasters in Paris. The many reservoirs have created several large reservoirs. The Lac du Der-Cahntecoq is the largest reservoir in France. It is located on the Marne west of Saint-Dizier. The north of the region is recommended for hikers, because this is where the impressive Ardennes are located.
The history of the Champagne-Ardenne
The region around Reims must have been inhabited since very early times. Later the Romans attacked the area and turned the city into a civitas. The Romans derived the short version Remis from the former town of Durcocortorum Remorum. This is how the current name of Reims came about. During the Roman occupation it was the capital and for the Romans it was an important stretch of road and an important junction. Today one even goes so far as to say that at that time this was probably the most densely populated city in the northern Alpine region.
When the Frankish ruler Clovis I was baptized in Reims at Christmas in 496, the city was named the coronation city of the French kings. Up until the revolution, all rulers were crowned here when they took office.
The Archbishop of Reims was given a special role in the year 1000. Until then he was known as Gerbert von Aurillac, but then he became Pope and is known today as Silvester II. He was also a friend of Emperor Otto III.
The population was also well off from the 12th to 14th centuries. The entire region of Champagne has been described as rich and very wealthy. A lot of money was made with pilgrims. Because on the route of the pilgrims were the masses in Lagny, Provins, Troyes and Bar-sur-Aube. Two of the pilgrimage routes crossed these cities. On the way to Rome, numerous and above all paying guests drove by here in droves.
Also the Franco-German War took place in the Champagne-Ardenne region. In 1871 the Ardennes were an important stage in the Battle of Sedan.
Later, during the First World War, the fighting of the first Battle of the Marne near Paris raged here. Even in the Second World War, the area around the Ardennes was not spared.
Later, the Germans and the French were reconciled in the magnificent Reims Cathedral. Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and General de Gaulle celebrated and celebrated the reconciliation ceremony, marking the official start of a respectful friendship that continues to this day.