A Travel Guide to Champagne-Ardenne
The Champagne-Ardenne region is roughly located within the borders of the historical County of Champagne. It is one of the 27 admin regions of France. It is famous for its sparkling wine and is predominantly an agricultural and rural region. Even though it is nearly the same as Belgium in size, it has only 1.2 million residents and is one of the most sparsely populated regions of France.
Reims is the city where the French kings were crowned. It is capital to the Marne department and of Champagne-Ardenne. Three buildings in this city were added to the list of world Heritage sites by UNESCO in 1991. These buildings are the Palace of Tau, the Former Abbey of Saint-Remi and the Cathedral of Our Lady of Rheims. The city is also famous for wine tasting events, especially due to the presence of many famous Champagne producing houses, including Krug, Ruinart, Piper-Heidsieck, Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, Pommery and Taittinger.
With the restored half-timbered houses and many beautiful large houses, Châlons-en-Champagne has certainly kept its bourgeois character intact. InChâlons-en-Champagne there is the opportunity to enjoy a cruise on the canals and it is the best way to discover the gardens and old bridges. Other important attractions include The St Etienne Cathedral, which is a gothic building from the 13th century, Notre-Dame en Vaux church, the Prieuré de Vinetz and the Couvent Ste-Marie.
Epernay is the capital of champagne and is surrounded by vineyards. It is a great place to explore the Marne Valley. The important Champagne houses in Epernay offer visitors miles of galleries with millions of wine bottles stored. Places to be visited include the Synagogue, Notre-Dame church, 14th century stained glass Windows, the Gabrielle Dorziat theatre and Avenue de Champagne.
Troyes has a fascinating historical background. It is well known for its 16th century half-timbered houses that lean across a wide network of narrow cobbled streets. The nine magnificent churches are well worth visiting especially due to the stunning stained glass, statuary and fine architecture. It was in the church of St Jean where Henry V of England had married Princess Catherine. A number of buildings were destroyed due to the fire that erupted in 1524. Some of the Renaissance mansions that were used to replace the destroyed buildings have now been converted into museums.
There is a wide variety of self catering holiday accommodation in Champagne-Ardenne ranging from apartments in the towns to gites and cottages in the countryside.