Art Deco: Reims in La Champagne Re-Constructed

Feb 11, 2015 | IWINETC 2015 La Champagne, France, Wine Tourism Conference

The Banks of the Marne river were the scenery of one of the worst massacres in the history of mankind. Along with unprecedented human casualties and unspeakable horrors of the I World War a great deal of damage was done to the abundant historical monuments of the region. The city of Reims did not escape the destruction and as the ashes settled all that was left was a vast stretch of rubble. What seemed to be a tragedy on national if not global scale from humanitarian and cultural point of view, for the new generation of architects and planners was an opportunity to implement the ideas that have been spreading around Europe since the beginning of the 20th century.

Among the more traditional styles, an innovative one drawing from geometrical forms and based on symmetrical patterns rose to prominence in the spiritual capital of Champagne. These architectural and decorative trends which in a few years would go under the name Art Deco, pointed to technology and development as their inspiration. This influence is clear to be seen both in visual motifs and the materials used: aluminium, steel, chrome, plastic or stained glass. The projects, disciplined and functional at the same time, perfectly suited the needs of a city planned almost from a scratch, filling the plots of land precisely interspersed into the geometrical grid of wide avenues.

Walking the streets of Reims one cannot miss the ornamentation in form of canted angles, sgraffiti, stained-glass windows, capitals, pediments and ceramics which catch the eye of a keen observer with modern forms. Remarkable pieces of such architecture include the Carnegie Library, Saint-Nicaise Church and great many of the buildings adjacent to the streets of Drouet-d’Erlon or Jean-Baptiste Langlet. To some an even more interesting example of innovation are the numerous garden cities around the town which herald the forthcoming housing projects of the 20th century.

With some of the original monuments rebuilt according to spared documentation, Reims today blends a modernist concept of the city with its historic roots in an eclectic way. Among the Roman mosaics , cathedrals and palaces, thanks to surviving dwellers determination, there sprawls a city which embraces the new retaining respect for the old. It is unique not only as a successful restoration project, but as a proof of how the contemporary people’s anticipation of future made it possible for an endeavour of unthinkable scale to become reality.

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The 7th annual International Wine Tourism Conference, Exhibition and Workshop  2015 (IWINETC) will be held in the city of Reims. The Champagne-Marne Tourism Board, Comité Départemental du Tourisme de la Marne will be the premium sponsor for the event.

IWINETC is the leading global event for the wine and culinary tourism industry. IWINETC 2015 will provide, once again a unique opportunity to build essential contacts, discover a new destination and services key to the future of your business, expand your industry knowledge and maximise your return on time.

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International Wine Tourism Conference (IWINETC)

Founded in Spain in 2009, the International Wine Tourism Conference (IWINETC) has now accommodated over 2,500 wine & culinary tourism professionals in 45 different countries throughout the world.

Though opportunities for international networking, professional development, and world class industry information you will find that our conferences and workshops offer unique ways to discover grape escape destinations around the world.

IWINETC is the destination for those involved in wine, gastronomy and tourism. So come along and share your point of view and gain from the experience of others.


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