Stage town for the 10th time Prefecture of Aube (10)

Population: 63,000 (Troyens, Troyennes), 173,000 in the 81 communes of the Troyes Champagne Métropole urban community.

Specialities: champagne (2nd largest production area), Riceys rosé, andouillette, sauerkraut, cheeses (Chaource, Champ sur Barse and Mussy).

Personalities: Édouard Herriot (statesman of the Third Republic), Jean Tirole (Nobel Prize in Economics), Jean and Marcel Bidot, Pascal, Régis, Jérôme and François Simon (cycling), Djibril Sidibé, Benjamin Nivet and Gaëtane Thiney (football), Dr Gérard Dine (anti-doping specialist), Jean-Marie Bigard and Raphaël Mezrahi (comedians), Cendrine Dominguez (TV presenter), Pascal Caffet (world champion pastry chef, chocolatier, and ice cream maker).

Sport: Espérance sportive Troyes Aube Champagne (football, Ligue 2), Sainte Maure-Troyes (handball), UV Aube-Club Champagne, Union Vélo Club de l'Aube Troyes and ASPTT (cycling), BMX Roller Skate de Troyes, SUMA Troyes (motorbike). Events: Paris-Troyes and Tour des Portes du Pays d'Othe (cycling), Troyes cyclocross UCI (world cup), half-marathon, Randonnée Roller des Lacs, Triathlon des Lacs Nuit du Sport, Fête du sport Troyes omnisport triathlon.

Economy: internationally renowned textile industry, metal industry, European capital of brand centres and factory outlets (over 4 million visitors a year). Universities.

Festivals: Foire de Mars, Nuits de Champagne (music), Ville en musiques, Salon régional du livre pour la jeunesse, Clés de Troyes (welcome festival for first-time students)

Labels: Ville d'art et d'histoire (Town of Art and History), old collection (15th century) of the Clairvaux Abbey library held at the Greater Troyes media library and listed in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register, Ville active et sportive (Active and Sporting Town), Ville amie des enfants (Children's Friendly Town), 4 flowers.

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In total, the town has appeared nine times on the Tour de France map, mostly at the end of the route. The stage to Troyes in 1960 made history when the peloton stopped to greet a famous spectator. General de Gaulle, then President of the French Republic, stood by the roadside in Colombey-les-Deux-Églises to watch the Tour go by. The break solemnly orchestrated by Jacques Goddet allowed Pierre Beuffeuil, who had been delayed by a puncture, to rejoin the peloton and win the stage solo 70 kilometres later. As for the rest, the finishes in Troyes have since gone to the sprinters. In 2017, it was one of them, Marcel Kittel, who won in Nuits-Saint-Georges on a stage that started in Troyes. The town was also home to one of the great siblings of French cycling, the Simon family, the most famous of whom is Pascal, who was unfortunate to take the Yellow Jersey in the 1983 Tour before being forced to retire with a broken collarbone. Three of the brothers, Pascal, Régis and Jérôme, won a stage in the Tour de France. The fourth, François, had to make do with a stage in the Giro.


  • Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul

Construction: 1212 to 16th centuries.

Style: Gothic.

History: The construction of Troyes cathedral, which replaced a 10th-century Romanesque building ruined by fire, was a particularly long and eventful process. Construction began with the building of the chapels, which were completed around 1240. At the same time, the pillars of the transept arms were erected until 1260. The three eastern bays of the nave were then built from the 13th to the early 14th century. It wasn't until 1450 that Bishop Louis Raguier took over the building work and brought it to completion. He had the western bays of the nave built up to the 12th-century porch bell tower, which was finally demolished in the 16th century. Two-thirds of the façade was completed in 1554 and construction of the towers began. The north tower, dedicated to Saint Peter, rose slowly, but the south tower, dedicated to Saint Paul, never saw the light of day. The facade therefore remained unfinished. Lightning continued to cause serious damage in the 18th century (destroying the spire and the roof) and during the Revolution, the large statues on the portals were destroyed and are known only from old documents. A major restoration of the pillars and stained-glass windows began in 1840.

Characteristics: a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, it has one of the largest areas of historiated stained glass in France, with windows from the 13th, 15th and 16th centuries. Famous for having only one tower, it also houses the organ from Clairvaux Abbey, as well as a remarkable collection of shrines, relics, Limousin enamels and silverware. Trivia: tradition has it that in 1536, Denis Bolori, an Italian watchmaker based in Troyes, took off from the cathedral tower equipped with mechanical wings and covered more than a kilometre before crashing. He was one of the pioneers of aviation, but also one of its first victims.  

Listed as: Historical Monument since 1862.  

  • Historic centre, timber-framed houses

Between Gothic and Renaissance, the historic centre of Troyes, which has the characteristic shape of a Champagne cork, still resonates from the time when the city was the capital of the Counts of Champagne. At the junction of Rue Passerat and Rue Hennequin, you'll find a heart that beats to the rhythm of the city after dark. That's when romantic Troyes comes into its own... Today, the city has become a symbol of romance and is one of the 10 most romantic cities according to The Good Life magazine.  

  • Museum of Modern Art

Construction: 16th and 17th centuries.

Museum opening: 1982

Features: housed in the former bishop's palace (16th and 17th centuries), the Musée d'Art Moderne was created in 1982 following a donation to the city of Troyes in 1976 by Pierre and Denise Lévy, textile industrialists from Troyes. It houses a collection illustrating some of the great moments in French art from the mid-19th century to the 1970s. Works by Courbet, Gauguin, Seurat, Bonnard, Matisse, De Stael, Delaunay, Braque, Soutine and Modigliani are on display, as well as one of the largest collections of paintings by André Derain. Sculpture is represented by Rodin, Degas, Maillol and Picasso's Le Fou.

Listed as: building listed as a Historical Monument since 1909.  

  • The heart of Troyes

The work of Aube artists Michèle and Thierry Kayo-Houël, this steel sculpture, which has become the emblem of the town, stands in the middle of the renovated quays of the old canal. This waterway forms the dividing line between the "head" and the "body" of the Bouchon (Cork). This heart glows red at night and throbs as you approach it. This monument also symbolises the romanticism of the historic town. Dimensions: 4 m wide, 3.5 m high, 2 m deep.  

  • Maison de l'Outil et de la Pensée Ouvrière (Hôtel de Mauroy)

Built in 1550.

Style: Renaissance.

The museum opened in 1966.

History: the building was constructed around 1550 on land abandoned after the great fire of 1524. It was transformed into a private mansion in the 16th century by Jean de Mauroy, lord of Colasverdey and alderman of Troyes. On his death, it became an orphanage. As a building dedicated to charity, it was not sold during the French Revolution, but became part of the hospital estate. In the 19th century, it was sold and became a public ball, an estaminet, a drapery workshop, a military administration building and the headquarters of a local newspaper. The town of Troyes acquired the hotel in 1966 and entrusted it to the Compagnons du Devoir, who undertook its restoration according to the rules of the trade. It is now home to the Maison de l'outil et de la pensée ouvrière (House of Tools and Labour Thinking).

Characteristics: housed in the Hôtel de Mauroy, the MOPO is home to the world's largest collection of 18th and 19th century tools. In 65 showcases, 11,000 "hand-made" tools are on display to help visitors discover some one hundred different trades in wood, iron, leather and stone.

Listed as: historical monument since 1862.  

  • Cat Alley

This very narrow alley owes its name to the fact that a cat can pass from one side of the street to the other through the roofs. It takes you back to the old cobbled streets of Troyes, lined with timber-framed houses.  


  • Pascal Caffet's sweets

A pastry chef and chocolatier, he has won the titles of France Best pastry maker (1989) and pastry chef chocolatier glacier world champion (1995). World-famous, he has opened shops in Italy and Japan, and has two shops in Troyes: Marché des Halles and 2, Rue de la Monnaie. 

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