RHEIMS, an ancient city of France, and in the de partment of the Marne, is situated in a plain on the banks of the small river Vesle. The city is of an oblong form, and is surrounded with a ditch and earthen mound, planted with double rows of trees on both sides. The w alls with which it is surrounded are by no means strong. The lower half of the wall seems in many places to be common stone, and the upper half chalk stone. The streets are generally straight, and wide, and clean ; and the houses well built. The principal street passes nearly in a straight line from the eastern to the western gate, through the Place Royale. .There are six gates to the town, which have a fine appearance in entering them, from the grand avenues of trees which It ad to the town. One of them is called the Pont de Mirs, and another the Porte de Ceres.
The Place Royale, which is nearly in the centre of the town, is a very handsome square, with very elegant houses. In the centre of the square stands a short and thick frustum of a marble column, with two huge statues of bronze at its base, one of which represents Commerce, and the other Force, with a lion at its side.
One side of the square is occupied by the custom-house, which is an elegant building. It is three stories high, and has an avant corps of four Doric columns, support ing a sculptured pediment. It has twelve windows in front. Those in the lowest story have circular heads, and between each of the upper ones is a doric pilaster. A balustrade terminates the front above.
The cathedral, which is one of the finest specimens of Gothic architecture in France, is a work of the 12th century, and is in every respect a grand and imposing edifice. It is also famous in history as the place where the ceremony of anointing or consecrating the kings of France took place. At the west end of it, which has a general likeness to that of Notre Dame in Paris, there are three noble entrances loaded with full length statues below, and smaller ones above, inclined according to the curvature of the pointed arches which compose each entrance. The middle portal had, before 1814, under
gone some repairs, which gave it the appearance of be ing new. Above the middle door there is a large cir cular window, with another of the same form above it. .At the west end there are two lofty and highly orna mented turrets, which are mutilated above, timitr, the appearance of being unfinished. There are seven fly ing buttresses between the transept and the end of the nave, and in each buttress there is a niche, or rather a recess with columns, containing a full length statue. Above the buttresses, on the top of the principal wall, there is a singularly light balustrade of pointed arches, which appear projected against the roof. At the east end of the cathedral, which is circular, there are quad ruple flying buttresses, and above them an aiguille or small spire. The two gates on the north side of the transept have their fine sculptures in great preserva tion. The third gate has the appearance of having been built up.
The interior of the cathedral corresponds in magni ficence with its external architecture. There are ten noble Gothic columns in the nave on each side, one window being between etch two pillars. The places in the roof where the groins meet are all gilt. The upper windows in the nave are most beautifully colour ed, and the lower part is adorned with twelve pieces of fine tapestry. A large and finely sculptured marble tomb, representing the killing of a lion, was, in 1314, standing upon stones in a temporary position.
In the choir there are ten columns, having their capi tals beautifully wrought. Six of these are, circular. The aisles are all very grand, particularly five of them behind the choir, which arc each adorned with temples of fou• line marble columns. In the north end of the transept there is a fine organ. There is a grand circu lar window of coloured glass above it, and another on the opposite side.