Visit Troyes by Mouse
Troyes is in the department of Aube in the Champagne-Ardennes region in northeastern France. It is 102 miles east of Paris and 79 miles south of Reims. Like many of the cities and towns in this area of France, Troyes has Gallo-Roman roots, but unlike many of the others there is little trace of Roman civilization left there. The city was noted for its production of stained glass and cloth in medieval times. In the late 19th and early twentieth centuries the production of cloth in the form of a cylinder was developed here utilizing very complicated knitting machinery. Some of these are displayed in one of the museums (Musée de la Bonneterie in the Hôtel de Vauluisant) , and you can see photos of them on our photos page. The form of the cloth made possible the manufacture of stockings, bonnets and dresses without seams.
We visited because it was well recommended by friends who have traveled extensively in France.  We were not disappointed.
One thing that was mentioned several times by people who knew something about it is that its boundaries take the shape of a Champagne cork--very appropriate in this region where champagne is produced and where bottles are prominently displayed in many shop windows. You can see this outline readily on any map of the city but that is not at all noticed when you are walking around in the city.
Troyes is noted for its many half-timbered buildings, dating from the early 1500's.  These were built after a huge fire destroyed most of the city in 1524.  These buildings are generally well cared for by their owners who obviously are mindful of preserving this heritage from a long ago era.  You do see some that are in desparate need of repair.
Troyes also has many churches which indicates a very religious heritage.  It has a cathedral which we visited briefly.  It was just before noon and it closed from noon to two.  We intended to return but we were too tired by the time we were ready in the late afternoon.  But we did visit two very interesting churches, Ste. Madeleine and  to St. Pantaleone.  Ste. Madeleine has magnificent stained glass and an intricate stone curtain across the entrance to the nave, both of which you can see in our photos.  St. Pantaleone has a large collection of sculptures some of which also are in our photos.
The city has several museums, and one of these, the Museum of tools (Maison de l'Outil et de la Pensée Ouverte) is unique. It consists of displays and explanations of a huge collection of tools used by craftsmen making all sorts of products--shoes and boots, barrels, baskets, brick and masonry structures, ironwork, taxidermy, among many others, from the 17th through 19th centuries.
After Troyes we headed north, stopping to visit the magnificent Cathedral in Reims.  We include a slideshow of the photos we took of that Cathedral.
(click for more photos)
(Slideshow  of Troyes)
(Slideshow of Reims Cathedral)
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Slideshow of the Reims Cathedral