Monday, May 07, 2007


Tomorrow is a bank holiday in France, and as Wednesday is my birthday and as I don’t like to work on my birthday, I will have the next two days off. I will be travelling to Reims, and I thought it could be a good idea to see how Reims has been pictured so far on French stamps.Reims is a city of the northern area called Champagne-Ardenne. It is located only 144 km from Paris. Reims was founded during the Roman Empire. This city has played an important role in French history because this is the city where all the kings of France have been crowned. One very important place in Reims is the cathedral. The cathedral has been completed at the end of the 13th century (except for the west front which was finished only in the 14th century) and is built on the site where Clovis was baptized by Saint Remy, bishop of Reims. This cathedral has been pictured several times on stamps.

The stamp on the left has been issued in 1930 in a series about monuments of France. The same design was re-used on the stamp on the right, issued in 1938 with a surtax for the renovation of the cathedral. A detail of this cathedral is also very well known within the philatelic world. A close up of a statue located on the left portal and picturing a smiling angel (l’ange au sourire) is very famous among French stamps collectors.

This stamp was issued in 1930 with a surtax for the sinking fund. The rather high surtax explains why the stamp was not very well sold at this time. This angel can be found again on anther stamp issued in 1956.

This stamp celebrates the twinning between Reims and Florence. It pictures on the left the smiling angel and the cathedral in the background. On the right you can see a detail of “The spring” from Botticelli and the palace located on the Piazza della Signoria in Florence.

In 1941 a stamp has been issued picturing the coat of arms of Reims.
As I said at the beginning, Reims is located in Champagne-Ardenne, the area which is well known in the world because this is where Champagne is produced ! This is the main reason of my trip to Reims. Being a big fan of Champagne, I was offered a private visit of a Champagne cellar on the day of my birthday. I promise not to drink to much ;-) The vineyards of Champagne have been pictured on a stamp issued in 2003 in the series “La france à voir / La France à vivre” (France to see / France to live).

This concludes our philatelic tour in Reims. See you in two days.


Sébastien said...

Hello. Don't miss the Armenian-French joint issue, on May 22nd : the 0,85 € i a photograph of the Smiling Angel.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday!

Bernard said...


Vous pourriez peut-être mettre en lien les sites sur lesquels vous empruntez vos images, ce serait assez fair-play !


Eric said...

Effectivement désolé pour cet oubli impardonable... le voilà corrigé.

Bernard said...

Hum ... non, hélas je ne vois rien de neuf dans la liste des liens ni aucune référence explicite de sources et l'URL que j'ai fournie n'est visible que sur un clic sur mon prénom, ce qui est assez chiche me semble t-il.