Reims (//; also spelt Rheims; French: [ʁɛ̃s]), a city in the Grand Est region of France, lies 129 km (80 mi) east-northeast of Paris. The 2013 census recorded 182,592 inhabitants (Rémoises (feminine) and Rémois (masculine)) in the city of Reims proper (the commune), and 317,611 inhabitants in the metropolitan area (aire urbaine). Its river, the Vesle, is a tributary of the Aisne.
Founded by the Gauls, it became a major city during the period of the Roman Empire. Reims played a prominent ceremonial role in French monarchical history as the traditional site of the crowning of the kings of France. The Cathedral of Reims (damaged by the Germans during the First World War but restored since) housed the Holy Ampulla (Sainte Ampoule) containing the Saint Chrême (chrism), allegedly brought by a white dove (the Holy Spirit) at the baptism of Clovis in 496. It was used for the anointing, the most important part of the coronation of French kings.