With an interest in sharing your photos while traveling, when you know your destination, how much pre-planning do you partake in?
When I knew I’d be going to Reims, France, I began looking at IG accounts like @reimstourisme and @topreimsphoto along with Google Image search, to get an idea of what I’d see there.
Immediately, the facade vantage point of Notre-Dame de Reims (Our Lady of Reims) Cathedral sparked my third eye’s wanderlust. “Is this real?” I asked myself. I did not believe this photo could be possible. Not as beautiful as it looked online.
On the day of arriving to Reims, after checking in to Best Western Premier Hotel La Paix on Place Drouet-d’Erlon, I ventured out to see this marvelous High Gothic cathedral. Close your eyes and listen to sounds of accordian playing French harmonies. Smell the aroma from a crepe stand making fresh Nutella crepes and Belgian waffles. France really messes with your senses.
The short 10 minute walk to the cathedral took me along Reims shopping street, which is filled with all the name brand stores like Zara, H&M, Footlocker, along with others. There was the vantage point I’ve seen online. Aside from construction scaffolding at the entrance, everything was the same. Turned a corner, and there she was. Our Lady of Reims.
On this approach to the cathedral (if you are facing the facade, I came in from the left), one of the first sights you’ll see is the statue of Joan of Arc On Equestrian by Paul Duboi. She is immortalized here with two statues, thanks to her tenacity during the 100 Years War, leading to the coronation of Charles VII in 1429. Joan’s appearance at the siege of Orleans sparked a renewed French spirit and led to a turning tide against the English. The subsequent English retreat paved way for The Dauphin (definition: Dynastic title given to the heir apparent to the throne of France. Dauphin is the French word for dolphin, the animal depicted on the coat of arms) to march to Reims for his coronation.
Nearly every French king, with the exception of 7, were coronated in Reims at this cathedral or the one preceding it. The front facade of the cathedral exemplifies royalty with the Gallery of Kings. Here, you will see 56 15ft (4.5m) statues. As you enter, you’ll marvel at the beautiful tapestries and Gothic organ.
You are in Reims, you will surely want to visit Notre-Dame de Reims. Read up on its history and importance to the French morale. My photographic suggestion is to arrive at dawn and walk down the road leading to the facade. You’ll have an empty street and cathedral facade all to yourself to take beautiful photographs. If you arrive later in morning or afternoon, although Place du Cardinal Lucon will be crowded, you can still find many vantage points to take a photograph that will not appear too busy. Enjoy your time in Reims!
DO YOU PLAN certain pictures based on inspiration you get while planning your holidays?