The Call to Place – Rheims-Geux

My yearning to find a place, experience it for myself is frequently through reading of it, via printed media or on the Internet. Most of the best ruined, abandoned places I have seen in the past have been found this way….Printed media found the ruined houses from the abandoned leper colony off the coast of Crete three decades ago ( Spinalonga, well known now), the disused pit buildings of Reims-Geux Motor racing circuit (read on) and others.

Of course, with the Internet, more of these are known, if they still remain standing.  And some are restored to a greater or lesser degree. The best are closely guarded secrets, known to a few Urban Explorers, and I am too compromised health wise to be in that select band!

I read of this place in a weekend newspaper article in the 1990s, because Chris Rea had made a film about the Shark-nosed Ferraris of the early 1960s. I was transfixed by the image of the Pits with the restored Ferrari 156 posing by it for the article, and determined to find it (the place, not the Ferrari) when we were returning from a jaunt in France.

So off we went the next year when we were in the area, and it was a brilliant place for a wander… we could walk up amidst the trees onto the grandstand, through the tunnel under the road and into the pits. It had been left much as it would have been after the last races in the early 1970s

Alas, it’s all been repainted now, the atmosphere largely gone, and access restricted……

– click on any image to start the slideshow.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Inspired by Cathy at Wanderessence here


  1. I’ll have to check in later to see the slideshow, although I may not be able to because I don’t think I have JavaScript. But I’m on my iPad while my laptop updates, something that’s taking a very, very long time.


  2. What a cool place – you can almost hear the sounds and smell the cars in the pit.
    Talk about vintage. Could be a sci-fi movie set. Such stories there
    Repainted? Access limited. Sad – bet the grounds appreciated your appreciation,

  3. Is it a working circuit again then, Sue, if it’s been restored? It has pathos written all over it. 🙂 🙂

  4. Incidentally, if you link to the main site, Cathy won’t get a pingback so you need to go over there and leave a link? Sorry if it’s none of my business. I was going there already to read today’s post. Hugs, Sue! 🙂

  5. I’m with you on internet discoveries I’ve been able to visit. Great post and images Sue.

  6. Always good to see any of these, Sue. So evocative of a bygone age.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  7. I love it when you get discursive and generous with photos. This would appear a strange call to place if one didn’t know you! I really enjoyed your account of the summons to places and then to this particular place. That shot through the broken window is a particular beauty. And thanks to Cathy for the nudge!

  8. Thank goodness you found it and recorded as it was at that time. I still enjoy looking at old maps for castle ruins, in the hope of finding something that has been missed on the internet, maybe one day 🙂

  9. Cathy has certainly prodded us into rethinking our posts. I find it very interesting to read back stories about why, how and where bloggers in our community group did things in the past. Very interesting story and photos Sue

  10. What a place, Sue! I think we are so often drawn to places through printed media or by reading about them online, and I bet you were thrilled to find this one. I always find it fascinating what draws people to a place, and why. It seems you are very attracted to ruins, as am I, so I certainly understand your interest. Plus, I believe I remember you used to travel in a race car or vintage car, didn’t you? (I’m sorry, I’m not a car enthusiast so can’t remember details about them!). So of course the picture with the Ferrari would have called to you as well. Wonderful. I’m glad Jo had you link to the latest post about call to place, otherwise, she’s right, I wouldn’t have gotten the pingback. 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing this! 🙂

  11. Places like this just do not last! It’s good you got there when you did, thanks to your research.

  12. Pingback: the call to place: portugal – ~ wander.essence ~

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