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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Reims, Champagne

Reims was founded in 80 BC by a Gallic tribe called the Remi, from which the town gets its name. The Remi allied themselves with Julius Caesar during his conquest of Gaul, and that association made the town a favored municipality in the Empire.

Over the centuries, Reims has found itself on the receiving end of aggression, from the likes of regional invaders such as the Vandals and the Huns during the fifth century on up to the Germans during the Franco-Prussian War, WWI and WWII. Despite the ensuing damage, Reims has always rebuilt, and today, the city is a bustling center of commerce and culture.

Along with Epernay, Reims has enjoyed a booming champagne industry for many years. Chalk caves, dug out by Romans seeking building material, wind in labyrinthian tunnels beneath the city. It is in these caves that the major champagne houses store millions of bottles of bubbly.

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