The Reims cathedral was rebuilt after a fire in 1210. Its choir at the east end, from the outside, displays the synthesis of Gothic elements: flying butresses (masonry arches springing from piers to support a wall), thinner walls, and tracery windows. The sculptural elements emphasize that this part is the most sacred of all of the cathedral's spaces. Erecting such a great cathedral placed strains on the inhabitants of the city: the construction was paid for by heavy taxes. The cathedral clergy offered indulgences to those who contributed to the building fund, part of an agressive fund-raising campaign that alienated the burghers. In 1223 the building came to a halt when the people of the town attacked the archbishop's palace, forcing the bishop and chapter to flee. The Pope placed an interdict on the town and the king passed harsh sentences on the rebels, delaying the completion of the choir, which was not consecrated until 1241.
You can find more information on the Cathedral in the Wikipedia.
Recommended viewing from the collection:
The Web Gallery of Art contains 27 images from the Reims Cathedral.