Joan of Arc: her statue stands in front of the Cathedral at Reims.
Significance of the horse pose: The raised forefoot of the horse signifies, to some, that the rider was wounded in battle, even if that wound later caused death. A rearing horse, two forefeet raised, signifies to some that the rider was killed in battle. All feet on the ground signifies survival. See http://www.snopes.com/military/statue.asp
It was in Reims in 1429 where Joan of Arc caused the dauphin, Charles VII, to be crowned. A first introduction to the Dauphin is at Chinon Castle, where Joan of Arc recognized him even in disguise, in the castle, among a large group. Reims is a World Heritage site. See http://www.whc.unesco.org/en/list/601.
The Cathedral housed an ointment (think annoint) of sacred oil, that, once administered, gives the king a divine quality. Without that done, the legitimacy of a king is in question. See http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?historyid=aa41.
- The rival to Charles VII, the Dauphin, is the English-Angevin Henry VI, a member of the Plantagenet family, one of seven Plantagenet children who can be claimants to the throne, but Henry was best positioned. If Joan can clear the way for Charles to get to Reims to be annointed, Charles wins, in the minds of the people. The Angevins, Plantagenets: long history in France, borrow this ebook and read online The Conquering Family, a History of the Plantagenets, by Thomas Costain.
The cathedral is the equivalent of Westminster Abbey in England, in that the kings were crowned there. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site. See thesalmons.org/lynn/wh-france. Scroll down to France, and click on Reims.
The Reims Cathedral sports happy, smiling angels with open wings on the facade. See goeurope.about.com/cs/france/l/bl_reims_1; and photos at community.webshots.com/album/125124022iWMfCF/2.
Reims, in the Champagne Region, was the site for coronations of centuries of French kings. Compare and distinguish Rouen: the capital of upper Normandy. Joan of Arc was burned at Rouen in 1431.