city in NE France: scene of Germany's surrender to the Allies (1945)
A city of northeast France east-northeast of Paris. One of the most important cities of Roman Gaul, it was long the site of the coronation of French kings. In World War II the unconditional German surrender was signed at Allied headquarters here on May 7, 1945.
In the 9th century Hincmar, archbishop of Reims, in his work, De ordine palatii et regni, speaks of a summus cancellarius, evidently an official at the court of the Carolingian emperors and kings.
For this display of independence he was imprisoned at Reims, and not released till some three years later, when Napoleon had extorted terms from the captive pope at Fontainebleau.
On the deposition of Charles the Fat in 887 he was excluded from the throne by his youth; but during the reign of Odo, who had succeeded Charles, he succeeded in gaining the recognition of a certain number of notables and in securing his coronation at Reims on the 28th of January 893.
The new pope, Gelasius II., and also his successor, Calixtus II., espoused the cause of the stubborn archbishop, and in October 1119, in spite of promises made to Henry I., he was consecrated by Calixtus at Reims. Enraged at this the king refused to allow him to enter England, and he remained for some time in the company of the pope.
Laon is the capital, and Soissons the seat of a bishopric of the province of Reims. Other important places are Chateau-Thierry, St Quentin and Coucy-le-Chï¿½au.
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