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Discover Clamanges and surroundings

Clamanges is located in the Marne departement in champagne-Ardenne region (now part of Grand Est new region), in the North-East of France at 25 km from Châlons-en-Champagne, the prefecture (Clamanges is at 120 km from Paris).

Places to visit in the nearby are Épernay and Châlons-en-Champagne at 25 km. Further - at 70 km, you will find the historic Champagne capitals: Troyes  and Reims .

Epernay

The town of Epernay, well known as capital of the Champagne producing region of France, is a wealthy looking town because of the expensive 19th century townhouses and mansions constructed with the wealth derived from the champagne trade.

The town sits below the vine-covered hills typical of the region and is well placed to discover various of the well known champagne producers. While Epernay is best known as a mecca for those with a taste for and interest in champagne the rest of the town and the surrounding region also contain some places of interest. Chateau Perrier in Epernay Chateau Perrier
The Avenue de Champagne is the place to start your tour of the grand champagne houses and is also the place to start your visit even if you are not interested in champagne, because it is along this Avenue that many of the most impressive houses and chateaux in Epernay are to be found.

Moet & Chandon and Mercier are the most popular champagne houses for a quick introduction to the champagne experience (called a "degustation" in French), although there are also many smaller producers open to visits in the town.

At Castellane - you can't miss it because their 1905 tower dominates the town - you also get good views across the town included in your visit. Places of interest in Epernay.

Elsewhere in Epernay
Epernay has been attacked and almost destroyed numerous times during its long history. As a result there is little remaining here from the medieval period. The '<b>Portail Saint Martin</b>' is the oldest monument in the town and is an impressive stone doorway that is all that remains of the 16th century Church of Notre Dame.
Entrée à l'église de Saint-Martin à Epernay
Portail Saint Martin
 
Two particularly noteworthy villas that you will see as you explore the town are the Town Hall and its impressive gardens (built in 1858) and the Chateau-Perrier, built in 1854 and notable as being the headquarters for the British, the Germans and then the Americans all during the Second World War. The Gabrielle-Dorziat theatre also has an impressive facade. 
The most important religious monument in Epernay is the Church of Notre-Dame (the church has the appearance of being much older than 1925 when it was rebuilt after war damage).

Chalons en Champagne

The 12th century Collegiale Church of Notre-Dame-en-Vaux which is important enough to be listed as World Heritage Site as one of the list of monuments on the important medieval pilgrimage routes through France. The cathedral is mostly in gothic style, and a very impressive design with two spires to the front and two towers with decorative arches to either side of the chevet at the rear of the church (these were also originally spires but these were removed during the revolution).

Cloître de la cathédrale musée - Notre Dame en Vaux Cloister museum

You can also visit the museum that contains a significant part of the cloisters that were once attached to the cathedral which originally formed part of a complex that also housed monks.

- The 13th century Cathedral of Saint Etienne, an impressive example of gothic style architecture in the region, with a baroque facade added in the 17th century. The stained glass windows and the vaulted roof above the nave are among the highlights in the interior.

- The 12th century Church of Saint-Alpin, which was much modified in the Renaissance style during the 16 century

- The Church of Saint John, about one kilometre east of the town centre, is notable for dating in part from the 11th century, which makes it the oldest building in Chalons-en-Champagne. It is studied by enthusiasts of medieval architecture because its long period of construction (from the 11th to the 16th century) means the church contains elements of roman, gothic and renaissance architecture.

- On Rue Lochet you can see a Protestant Temple and a Synagogue. Although these buildings were constructed in the 19th century, the Synagogue in particular is worth seeing for its unusual moorish design.

Elsewhere in Chalons there are several other buildings of interest that you will discover as you explore. Particularly imposing is the 18th century Town Hall, built in the neo-classical style popular at that time with a grand colonnaded facade and a clock tower on the roof.

In the nearby of Chalons en Champagne : L'Epine

Photo de Épine de Marne
L'Épine Basilica gargoyle

The village of L'Epine, in the agricultural landscape of the quiet Marne countryside would go unnoticed if it were not for the presence in the village of one of the most important historical landmarks in the Champagne-Ardenne region. Notre-Dame de L'Epine basilica The basilica was built from the early 15thcentury onwards, in a project that was to take more than 100 years to complete (the cathedral was finished in 1527) and in what is known as the 'flamboyant gothic'. The entire facade is ornately decorated, including the main entrance and two side entrances, and the substantial (and irregularly sized) towers to either side. You probably won't notice but the left hand spire is actually a 19th century reconstruction of the original. The facade also has a good number of carved gargoyles, including some very unusual designs - such as a crocodile or unrecognisable beasts fighting - to provide entertainment to your children if they are not usually enthusiasts of medieval architecture! Among the most notable artefacts within the basilica at Epine you can see a wooden sculpture of Saint-Jacques, dating from the 16thcentury. The basilica is also well known for its carved stone 'rood screen' ("jube" in French) between the nave and the choir sections, and a statue of the lamentation of Christ (also called "mise en tombeau") representing various charaters around Christ as he is placed in his tomb. Because of the historical importance of the basilica as one of the sites along the medieval pilgrimage route to Compostella the basilica is now listed as a UNESCO world heritage site (as are about 70 other monuments along the same routes).

Troyes

Photo de Troyes de Aube Troyes is in the Aube department of the Champagne-Ardenne region, on the Seine River. The city describes itself as "La cite en forme de bouchon de champagne" (trans: the city in the form of a champagne cork) although this is more noticeable from aerial views than from exploring the town on foot...! Your visit will focus in the Place de l'Hotel-de-Ville, the main square in central Troyes, and along the bustling Rue Emile Zola, the principal street through the town centre.

Gargoyle on Troyes cathedral Renaissance Troyes It is here that the Town Hall, an excellent example of a later Renaissance building (17 century) can be seen. Another particularly important building in the centre of Troyes is the Hotel du Lion Noir (dating from the 16th century) and especially interesting because of its external staircase, open to the elements and made from wood, which is very unusual. Among the other notable buildings from this period see the Hotel de Marisy, the Hotel de Mauroy (which contains a museum of traditional artisan tools) and the Hotel of the Prefecture Building for the Aube department.

Religious monuments in Troyes The gothic style Cathedral of Saint-Peter and Saint Paul (13 - 17th century) dominates the centre of Troyes, and is decorated with many carved highlights (gargoyles, etc) above all on the west facade. Highlights inside the cathedral including some fine stained glass windows and a reputed organ. There are also several interesting churches in Troyes, each with their own distinct features and attractions. See in particular the 12th century Church of Saint-Madeleine (the oldest church in Troyes, featuring some exceptional stone carvings); the Saint-Remy church and the 'clock' on the belltower; the Church St-Jean-du-Marché, where Henry V married Catherine of France; and the Saint-Urbain Basilica.
Medieval Troyes The town is also described as having one of the finest medieval centres to be seen in France - and it is certainly true that the old town in Troyes is a lovely ensemble of buildings, with streets of tall colombage houses surrounding the attractive cathedral. It is centred in the Saint-Jean sector of Troyes (next to the Place de l'Hotel de Ville). Some of the streets such as the Ruelle des Chats are especially narrow - an effect emphasised by the building protruding more at higher levels until the upper stories actually touch the building opposite.

Reims

Photo de Reims de Marne

Reims is a city in the Champagne-Ardenne region, in the north of France. Although Reims suffered very badly during bombing in WWI, its historical centre contains a great deal of interest. Your visit to Reims will focus in the centre and around the cathedral and other major monuments, and the main squares: the Place Royale, with a statue of Louis XV, and the Place Cardinal-Lucon, with an equestrian statue of Joan of Arc. The rue de Vesle is the main street.
The Place Drouet d'Erlon in the city centre is packed with lively restaurants and bars, and several attractive statues and fountains. During the summer it is filled with people sitting outside the many cafes enjoying the summer sun, and in December it has a lively and charming Christmas market. The main highlights in the town are the cathedral, Tau Palace and the Basilica of Saint Remi. Vitrail à Reims cathedralReims Cathedrale rosace
Reims Cathedrale Reims is most famous for its cathedral (1211-1480), which is one of the finest examples of the 'French Gothic' architecture style. Reims was evangelized around the third century AD and a Christian basilica was first constructed here around the year 400, consecrated to the Virgin by the Bishop Nicasius. It was in this church that St. Nicasius was martyred, when the city was taken by the Vandals. Spending huge sums of money on its construction, work on the cathedral began in 1211 and continued from 1299 and throughout the 14th century. The church, in the form of a Latin cross is very large - on the outside the building is 149 meters long. The key feature of the cathedral of Reims is the sculptures and unique glass windows; for example the western portal has 35 statues and an impressive rose window, among the most notable are the small figures of angels including the famous 'Smiling Angel', one of the most famous sculptures of the cathedral.The central façade consists of three central doors and two strong buttresses, which are the essential decorative motif of the cathedral. Also beautiful is the western portal, with three doors, which is also rich in statues including the 'Stories of Adam and Eve'. The side faces are also very elegant, with buttresses soaring upward, repeating the theme of the main façade.

 
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