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Palais du Tau

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Reims, Франция
Centre des Monuments Nationaux (CMN)
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In 1997, Avesta Group implemented its skills in project management to ?? in the Palais du Tau, France, the residence where the Kings of France stayed during their coronation and the former Archbishop’s Palace in Reims.


History of the Palace

The Palace of Tau was founded in the late 4th century on the site of a former Gallo-Roman house on the southern side of the cathedral. It was initially an archbishop's palace from the 8th century onwards. The monument became known as the Palace of Tau in 1138, about the Greek letter “Tau”, reflecting the property’s T-shaped layout. This capital T shape also evokes the shape of the early bishops’ crosiers. Following a fire in 1207 or 1210, the palace was rebuilt, and a two-storey palace chapel was added. In around 1500, the palace was reorganised in flamboyant Gothic style. 

The building’s current, more traditional appearance dates back to the late 17th century. The work was conducted under the supervision of architect Robert de Cotte.


From the archbishop’s palace to the Centre des Monuments Nationaux

The palace became public property in 1793 and was used variously as a court, trading hall, barracks and prison. The property was restored for the coronation of Charles X in 1825. In around 1860, the sizeable perpendicular wing running along Rue du Cardinal de Lorraine was overhauled, based on plans by Viollet-le-Duc. Following the separation between Church and State in 1905, the palace became a national monument and was listed as a Historic Monument in 1907.

The buildings suffered significant damage during the bombing campaigns of the First World War, and only the walls remained. The palace, which had housed collections of artworks and historical artefacts from the Champagne region since the 19th century, was subsequently restored and reorganised. It reopened as a museum in 1972. The palace, along with the cathedral, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991. Since 2000, it has been managed by the Centre des Monuments Nationaux and was made accessible to disabled visitors in 2011.


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