Troyes Tourist Attractions
Troyes, the old capital of Champagne, now chief town of the département of Aube and the see of a bishop, lies on the Seine, here divided into a number of arms. Its main industry is hosiery.The town's tourist attractions include many churches and old buildings which bear witness to its one-time cultural importance.Troyes, the Roman Augustobona, was originally the chief town of a Gallic tribe, the Tricasses, from whom it took its later name of Trecae. It was the see of a bishop from the fourth century. During the battle of the Catalaunian Fields in 451 Troyes successfully held out against the Huns. In the 10th C the town passed to the Counts of Champagne, who, along with the bishops, fostered its development, building churches and hospitals and founding the fair which is still held annually. In 1304 the County was united with France.
The central feature of Troyes is the Place du Maréchal-Foch, with the Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall; built 1624-1670, extended in 1935). Northwest of this is the church of Ste- Madeleine (13th C., rebuilt in 16th C.), with a fine Renaissance tower of 1560 and a Flamboyant doorway on the charnel-house. The interior is Gothic, with a beautiful stone rood screen, richly decorated in Flamboyant style (by Jean Gailde, 1508-1517). In the south aisle are a 16th C. figure of St Martha in peasant costume and beautiful 16th C. stained glass windows.From here Rue des Chats, lined with fine medieval half timbered houses packed closely together, runs southeast towards the church of St-Jean.
In Troyes, in the church of St Jean (14th and 16th C.) Henry V of England married Princess Catherine of France. The nave is Gothic; the choir, which is considerably higher than the nave, dates from the 16th C. Notable features are the sumptuous 17th C. high altar and a 16th C. stone "Visitation" in the south aisle.
Rue Emile Zola
In Troyes, to the northwest, in Rue Champeaux and Rue Brunneval, are numbers of old half-timbered houses. Beyond Rue Emile-Zola (the main traffic artery of the old town), at 2-7 rue de la Trinité, are a number of 16th C. houses which were converted into an orphanage in the 18th C., a fine example of Renaissance civic architecture.
In Troyes, near Rue Emile-Zola is the Late Gothic church of St-Pantaléon (16th-17th C.), with a fine Baroque facade, numerous statues and 16th C. stained glass.
In Troyes, opposite St-Pantaléon, is the Hôtel de Vauluisant (16th century), housing the Musée de la Bonneterie (development of the hosiery industry in Troyes). The Musée Historique (13th and 14th century sculpture, coins, prints, costumes) is in the same building.
In Troyes, is the church of St Nicolas (16th C.), with a 17th C. porch, fine 16th C. stained glass and 17th C. choir-stalls.
In Troyes, northeast of the Town Hall, in Place de la Libération, is the church of St-Urbain, one of the finest Gothic buildings in Champagne, built between 1262 and 1286 by Pope Urban IV, a native of Troyes. The facade, which was completed only in the 19th C., has a 13th C. doorway with a Last Judgment in the tympanum. The great area of glass (13th and 14th C.) in the walls makes the interior very light. To the right of the choir is a charming figure of the Virgin, the Vierge au Raisin (Virgin of the Grapes), a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture (16th C.).Northwest of this is the church of St-Rémy (14th-16th C.), which has a fine Cross by Girardon (1638-1715).
In Troyes, beyond the canalized arm of the Seine, Rue de la Cité runs northeast to the Cathedral of St-Pierre-et-St-Paul, one of the masterworks of Gothic architecture in Champagne (1208-1638), with unfinished towers. The north transept with its richly decorated doorway, the "Beau Portail", and its 15th C rose window is a particularly fine example of medieval sculpture. The nave is flanked by double aisles and has fine 13th and 14th C stained glass (in the fourth chapel on the left the "Mystic Wine-Press", 1625) and a rich treasury (numerous psalters, enamel-work, embroidery).
In Troyes, opposite the cathedral is the former abbey of St Loup, now housing the Municipal Library, one of France's richest libraries, with over 200,000 volumes, 3,000 manuscripts and 700 incunabula.In the same building is the Musée des Beaux- Arts (antiquities, pictures).
Musée d'Art Moderne
In Troyes, the former Bishop's Palace (16th, 17th and 19th C.) now houses the Museum of Modern Art. The nucleus of the museum is the Levy Collection of art between 1850 and 1950, with works by Bonnard, Cézanne, Derain, Degas, Gauguin, Matisse, Modigliani, Picasso, Rouault, Soutine and Vuillard. There is also a collection of African art and a collection of sculpture which is displayed in the garden.
Address: Palais Episcopal, Place St Pierre, F-10000 Troyes, France
Opening hours: 10am-1pm, 2pm-6pm; Closed: Mon
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), 1945 Victory Day (May 8), May Day / Labor Day (May 1), Bastille Day - France (Jul 14), Assumption Day - Christian (Aug 15), All Saints' Day - Christian (Nov 1), Remembrance Day / 1918 Armistice Day (Nov 11), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Pentecost Monday (Whit Monday) - Christian, Ascension Thursday - Christian
Entrance fee in EUR: Adult €5.00, Group discounts €2.50, Child 18 & under FREE
Disability Access: Full facilities for persons with disabilities.
In Troyes, at the end of Rue de la Cité is the Late Gothic church of St Nizier (1528-1573), with a west front in pure Renaissance style and fine 16th C. stained glass in the interior.
Map of Troyes Attractions