Troyes

Medieval townscape: Troyes

Medieval townscape: Troyes

Inspiring medieval town in the Champagne

The former capital of the Champagne province dates all the way back to the Roman era, when it was an important settlement due to its position on the River Seine at the crossroads of several key trade routes. According to legend, the city was saved from destruction at the hands of Attila the Hun in the 5th century by Saint Lupus, the Bishop of Troyes, who offered himself as a hostage. As the ancestral seat of the Counts of Champagne, Troyes remained the political and economic center of the region throughout the Middle Ages, retaining the title of provincial capital until the Revolution in 1794. Although much of the city's medieval core was destroyed by a disastrous fire in 1524, the Old Town – coincidentally in the shape of a cork – remains one of the best in western France.

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