Troyes

Troyes is a town in the Grand-Est region of Champagne-Ardenne and boasts a rich historical centre characterised by medieval streets and picturesque half-timbered houses.
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Troyes, capital of the Aube département in the Grand Est region and capital of the historical Champagne region, owes its medieval splendour to numerous restoration campaigns that have restored the city’s exceptional heritage.

It is a city of art and history, with a rich cultural scene: it is a city of many colours with a remarkable urban and industrial development, which hides many vestiges of the past, witnesses of Troyes’ glorious times.

Seen from above, the heart of this city draws the contours of a champagne cork: the origins of this bizarre shape go back to a set of fortifications and constructions. This is why the inhabitants of Troyes decided to keep this term to designate their historic centre.

Today, the old ramparts have been replaced by the current Boulevard Barbusse, Gambetta, 14th July or Boulevard Victor Hugo. The upper part of the centre is bordered by the banks of the Seine, which offer you the possibility of pleasant walks in the midst of greenery.

Things to do in Troyes

Immerse yourself in the history of the capital of Champagne and discover the Saint-Jean-au-Marché district with its remarkable 16th-century half-timbered houses, its medieval streets including the picturesque alley of cats, its secret courtyards and the Sainte- La Madeleine church with its astonishing stained-glass windows and its remarkable Renaissance screen, real stone lacework.

Founded in Roman times, Troyes has preserved an incredible wood and stone structure with a superb collection of half-timbered houses inherited from the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Visiting the heart of Troyes, you will be fascinated by its picturesque neighbourhoods, medieval cobbled streets, narrow alleys and pedestrian canals.

Église Sainte-Madeleine

13 Rue de la Madeleine, 10000 Troyes, France

Of all the buildings in Troyes, this religious monument is certainly one of the oldest and most valuable. Boasting an inimitable Old Gothic style, the Sainte-Madeleine church undeniably seduces tourists and architecture enthusiasts alike.

Restored in the 16th century and classified as a historical monument since 1840, the building is also known for its partitioning and splendid stained-glass windows dating back to the Renaissance and featuring dazzling colours that undeniably capture the visitor’s attention.

The Basilica of St. Urban

2Pl. Vernier, 10000 Troyes, France (Website)

The Basilica of St. Urban is considered one of the three most perfect Gothic architectures in the world. It is named after Pope Jacques Pantaléon, better known as Urban IV and was built in 1260 by order of the latter.

Particularly elegant, the Basilica of Saint-Urbain is unique and has a superb façade. The interior of the basilica is also worth seeing.

As soon as you enter the church, you will be immediately struck by the brightness and sober elegance of the place. The impressive stained glass windows created in 1270 were beautifully restored in 1992.

Ruelle des Chats

3Rle des Chats, 10000 Troyes, France

The alley of cats is a tiny medieval street full of charm. Formerly called Rue Maillard, it was only in 1783 that it was renamed ‘alley of the cats’.

According to legend, cats can pass fearlessly from rooftop to rooftop in this alley. Its atmosphere is timeless and worth a stroll, especially in the evening.

The alley of the cats is one of the oldest and certainly the most emblematic streets in the city of Troyes, but also the narrowest, full of skilfully renovated half-timbered houses. This alley leads to the magnificent Cour du Mortier d’Or, where you can discover the hidden side of the half-timbered houses, embellished with 19th-century lighting.

Maison de l'Outil

47 Rue de la Trinité, 10000 Troyes, France (Website)

Located inside the Hotel Mauroy, the Maison de l’outil et de la pensée ouvrière (MOPO) opened its doors in 1974. This museum was founded on the initiative of Father Paul Feller, a Jesuit who was passionate about the evolution of working techniques. It houses a vast collection of tools dating from the 17th to the 19th century, all handcrafted: there are almost 12,000 of them, divided by subject and profession.

The House of Tools and Workers’ Thought is one of the unmissable places in the city of Troyes. Every year it welcomes between 16,000 and 25,000 visitors. You will find 32,000 fascinating exhibits tracing the history of trades and craft techniques. With this immense selection of reading material, the Maison de l’Outil et de la Pensée Ouvrière is the second largest library of technical works in France, right after the Forney library in Paris.

Museum of Fine Arts and Archaeology

51 Rue Chrestien de Troyes, 10000 Troyes, France (Website)

Also called the Museum of Fine Arts and Archaeology, it was created between the 17th and 18th centuries and houses an important collection of applied art objects from different periods. Through these fascinating exhibits, it is possible to get a real insight into the artistic and cultural evolution of mankind.

On site, you will discover works of art, archaeological pieces, graphic arts, sculptures and paintings. The museum exhibits mainly French, Dutch and Italian paintings from the Middle Ages to modern times. You will also find the works of Antoine Watteau and Philippe de Champaigne, famous French painters of the 18th century.

In the vaulted cellars of its former abbey, the museum also houses archaeological pieces and sculptures spanning a wide period, from prehistoric times to the time of the French Merovingians, via ancient Egypt or Greece.

La Maison Du Boulanger

642 Rue Paillot de Montabert, 10000 Troyes, France (Website)

A former Renaissance-era bakery, the Maison Du Boulanger was the first half-timbered building to be renovated in Troyes in 1963, after lengthy negotiations with the city, which wanted to demolish it.

It is worth noting that the pulley and cogwheel used by the baker of the time to carry sacks of grain up to the attic have been preserved. This place is now the Cultural Centre of Troyes and its unique and extremely well-preserved architecture makes it a must-see for visitors and locals alike.

Théâtre de la Madeleine

7Rue Jules Lebocey, 10000 Troyes, France (Website)

Another important place for the city’s culture is the 600-seat Théâtre de la Madeleine, unique for its magnificent architecture and its raised decoration in red and gold, reminiscent of the famous Parisian theatres.

Its intimate configuration favours the proximity of the artist to his audience, one of the main characteristics of the ‘conventional stage’.

Hôtel de Vauluisant

84 Rue Vauluisant, 10000 Troyes, France (Website)

The Hôtel de Vauluisant is one of the few stone buildings in the city of Troyes from the mid-16th century.

It takes its name from a house of refuge that belonged to the Cistercian abbey of Vauluisant, in the department of Yonne. The building has a rich façade typical of Renaissance architecture, with a decoration of pediments, cartouches, putti and garlands. Enlarged in the 17th and 18th centuries, the pavilion is flanked by two turrets, one of which houses a spiral staircase. The conical roofs are adorned with elegant pinnacles and surmounted by a sun and moon.

Purchased by the City in 1932 to create a Museum of Decorative Arts, it currently houses two: the Champenois Art Museum and the Hosiery Museum.

Le Coeur de Troyes

9Quai de Dampierre, 10000 Troyes, France

The Heart of Troyes is one of the city’s must-see places, a work created by Michèle and Thierry Kayo-Houel, an artist couple. Located near the quays of the old canal, it symbolically marks the heart of the city.

Made entirely of perforated metal, this incredible creation is composed of almost 200 pieces of stainless steel assembled together. It represents a heart, whose special effects will never cease to amaze spectators.

Indeed, as soon as night falls, this artificial heart blushes as people approach. During the summer it comes alive with jets of water, under which children do not hesitate to have fun. No doubt you will fall in love with this unusual sculpture, which has now become the symbol of the city.

Halles de Troyes

1019 Rue Général de Gaulle, 10000 Troyes, France (Website)

The only shopping centre in the city, the Halles de Troyes were built in 1874 to a design by Emile Bailly, chief architect, who was inspired by the work of Victor Baltard, forerunner of Les Halles in central Paris. The combination of different materials, such as wood, iron, cast iron and even glass, makes its structure and architecture atypical.

Completely renovated in 1987, Les Halles brings together some 35 traders every day offering local and seasonal products. On Saturdays, don’t miss the Grand Marché, with a wide selection of artisans and vendors from the region distributed both inside and outside the covered market: an ideal opportunity to stroll around and get the weekend off to a good start.

Map

In the following map you can see the location of the main places of interest mentioned in this article

Where to stay in Troyes

You’ll have no trouble finding a hotel or B&B in the heart of the city of Troyes: it has a hotel scene full of alternatives to choose from depending on where you prefer to stay.

Foires de Champagne

Situated between the church of Saint Nicolas and the church of Saint-Jean-au-Marché, this is one of the best areas in the city centre to stay in Troyes, especially during the famous Champagne Fairs, which ensured the city’s wealth, longevity and European fame.

Even today, the Fairs take place on a fixed date in the squares around the Church of Saint-Jean-au-Marché.

La Cité

Bordered by the Seine and the canal, this is the oldest quarter of the city. It corresponds to the fortified part of the Gallo-Roman city of Augustobona Tricassium, with a rampart built from the 3rd century onwards to defend against Germanic invasions.

Immersed in the history of this ancient medieval city, it is the best area to visit the city’s rich and fascinating historical heritage.

Les Halles

Between the City and Champagne Fairs districts lies the historic centre, where you can admire the town hall or the basilica, as well as the Halles de la ville. With its charming medieval streets and picturesque atmosphere, it is one of the best places to sleep in Troyes.

La Madeleine

Located north-east of the Champagne Fairs district, La Madeleine stretches around the theatre of the same name. Not far from the train station, it is an excellent area for sleeping in Troyes.

Quieter than other neighbourhoods, particularly in its residential part behind the theatre, it offers a very appreciable central location for discovering the city centre and its wonders.

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How to get to Troyes

Several major cities provide direct and TGV trains to Troyes, including Paris, which is only 1½ hours away by train, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille, Rennes.

Alternatively, you can rent a car directly at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport or Paris Orly Airport and reach Troyes about 2 hours by motorway.

Troyes Weather

What's the weather at Troyes? Below are the temperatures and the weather forecast at Troyes for the next few days.

Sunday 3
Monday 4
10°
Tuesday 5
Wednesday 6
Thursday 7
13°
Friday 8
13°

Where is located Troyes

Troyes is located in the Grand Est region, about 150 km southeast of Paris.

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