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Troyes is a French commune, located in the department of Aube (of which it is the prefecture) in the Grand Est region. The town is divided into five cantons of which it is the capital. With a legal population of 61,652 inhabitants in 2017, the city of Troyes is the seventh most populous municipality in the region behind Colmar and ahead of Charleville-Mézières and Châlons-en-Champagne. It is the center of the Troyes Champagne Métropole agglomeration community, 170,145 inhabitants in 2016, which since January 1, 2017 replaces Grand Troyes. It stretches for about fifteen kilometers along the valley of the Seine.

Its historical past, from the tribe of Tricasses to the liberation of the city on August 25, 1944 during the Second World War, through the battle of the Catalaunic fields, the Council of Troyes, the marriage of Henri V and Catherine de France and the Champagne fairs as well as its rich architectural and urban heritage with its many buildings protected as historical monuments, have enabled Troyes to be designated City of Art and History by the National Committee of Cities and Towns. Country of art and history. The troy ounce, unit of measurement of precious metals since the Champagne fairs, takes its name from the city.

Textiles, developed from the 18th century, were one of the historical assets of the Trojan economy until the 1960s; Troyes is today the European capital of factory outlets and merchants thanks to its three brand centers.

The Pays Barséquanais with its expanses of champagne vineyards has many gastronomic assets. From a geographical and tourist point of view, the Seine remains the main advantage with the proximity of the regional natural park of the Orient forest and the lake-reservoir of the Orient lake, a wildlife and relaxation reserve. Troyes, a capital city steeped in history, geographically located in the center of the department, is seeing the development of green tourism around it: in addition to the Orient Forest park, the Pays d'Othe and the Pays d'Armance offer their hilly, wooded and plains expanses.



The city of Troyes, historic capital of the Counts of Champagne, and with a great historical past and a rich architectural and urban heritage, was designated City of Art and History on June 5, 2009. The convention was signed in February 2010.

Antiquity: birth of Troyes
The first inhabitants to have left tangible traces of their presence are the Tricasses, a tribe of Gaul in Lyon mentioned from the 1st century BC in the writings of Greek geographers, even if some megaliths testify to an older settlement. The city is mentioned under the name of Augustobona especially during the Gallic War from the year 58 BC-57 BC, but the name derived from the name of Tricasses gradually imposed itself under the Lower Empire. The Lingons, neighbors of this tribe, also lived in the south-eastern half of the city. At the time of its foundation, during the High Empire - end of the 1st century BC and early 1st century AD - the city, then surrounded by vast marshy expanses on its southern fringes and its northern margins, is the subject of important operations of drainage in order to accommodate new urban areas. From the second half of the 1st century, the site of Augustobona has several public infrastructures of a municipal nature. These buildings, in particular an aqueduct and possibly a thermal spa complex, but whose archaeological surveys have only found a few vestiges, alternate with residential areas. At that time, the hydraulic engineering structure, by means of a pipe designed using small-sized mœllons, then made it possible to distribute drinking water to the various public and private places of the city of Champagne. During this period, the urban ensemble of the city of Troyes, in ancient form, therefore covers an area of ​​approximately 80 ha, a space between the Porte de Chaillouet, to the north, and the Place du Professeur-Langevin to the north. south; as well as between the Faubourg Saint-Jacques, to the west, and the rue Jeanne-d'Arc to the east. After this urban development, during the years 120 AD, the Roman Emperor Hadrian stays in the city with his troops. At the beginning of Late Antiquity, around 380 AD, the Trojan city, which is at that time renamed under the name of Civitas Tricassium, is then enclosed by a vast fortified wall.

It is to the west of the city, towards Méry-sur-Seine, or, more likely, in Dierrey-Saint-Julien (at a place called Moirey) that the battle of the Catalaunic fields took place in 451.

On June 20, when Attila was driven back to Orleans by the Romans, Loup de Troyes, bishop of the city, went to his camp and begged him to "spare a defenseless city, because it had no walls. nor soldiers ”. Attila would have answered him: “Very well! But you will come with me and you will see the Rhine; I promise to send you back then ”. The Huns are still stopped in the plains close to Troyes, called Catalaunic fields, by the Romans and by the Franks commanded by Mérovée as well as their allies. Attila is defeated. The king of the Visigoths, Theodoric, is killed there. The battle of Mauriac, or Campus Mauriacus, another historical term used to refer to the conflict of the Catalaunic fields, definitively drives out the Huns of Gaul.

Middle Ages
From Clovis to the county of Troyes
In 484, Clovis seizes Troyes and its surroundings which will be called Champagne (campania) because of the immense chalky plains. Champagne is attributed to the kingdom of Austrasia, after the division of the possessions of Clovis in 511, except Troyes and its region which are attributed to Clodomir. It was not until 524, following the death of the King of Orleans, that she joined Austrasia until 558, when Clotaire I was proclaimed King of the Franks. In 567, the city of Troyes was placed in the kingdom of Burgundy. Between 592 and 613, it rejoins Austrasia. On the death of Clotaire II in 629, the city again depends on Burgundy.

The city is controlled and plundered by the Saracens of Spain in 720. La Vita Sancti Fidoti, abbatis Trecensis, life of Fidolin, captive freed by Eventinus, a priest of Troyes, seems to indicate that at that time, one practiced the trade there slaves.


In 820, Aleran became the first count of Troyes at the time of Emperor Louis the Pious. His reign ended with his death in 852. The territory of Troyes was also, around 860, the price of a struggle between Bishop Ansegise and Count Rodolphe de Ponthieu who emerged victorious. During the first Council of Troyes in 878, Louis the Begu received the imperial crown from the hands of Pope John VIII. At the same time, Bernard of Gothia, in conflict with Frotaire and in revolt against King Louis the Stammerer, is excommunicated.

In 888, the city suffered from the Norman incursions then, according to the Chronicle of Réginon de Prüm, the Normans, in 889, seize the city, reduce it to ashes and plunder all the surrounding country. In response to these incursions, at the beginning of the 890s (in 891 or 892), a new fortified wall, of which the base and the facing were largely formed thanks to the re-use of structures the Gallo-Roman enclosure, is then erected and deployed around the city. Subsequently, in 898, according to medieval writings, the Saint-Loup abbey and the Saint-Pierre church would have been destroyed. However, archaeological surveys carried out in the nineteenth century do not allow such chronological accuracy. Troyes belongs to the Duchy of Burgundy from the end of the ninth century.

In the first half of the tenth century, the Normans repeated several incursions, in 908, 911 and 925. During this third incursion, the latter were removed by Ansegise, bishop of Troyes, who united the counts of Sens, Garnier, and de Dijon, Manassès II, and the bishop duke of Langres Gosselin II de Bassigny to push them back to the Bassigny region. The battle against the viking Ragenold of Nantes (Rögnvald), dated December 6, 925, takes place on a site mentioned under the toponym of Calaus mons. The place of this military confrontation may turn out to be located in the current commune of Chaumont (Haute-Marne), between Milly-la-Forêt and Barbizon or more probably Chalaux, near the eponymous stream, within the department. of the Nièvre. During this confrontation, Garnier de Sens is killed; Ansegise, meanwhile, is injured. Nevertheless, during this battle, the Norman troops were pushed back and then defeated.

In 1040, Rabbi Solomon Ben Isaac, better known under the name of Rashi, was born in Troyes. The rabbi and philosopher, a great commentator on the Bible and the Talmud, created an important school of Jewish thought in the city.

The era of the Counts of Champagne
In the 12th century, the county of Troyes merged with that of Meaux to give birth to the county of Champagne. Hugues I of Champagne is the first to be proclaimed in this capacity around the year 1102. In 1129, the second council of Troyes, which takes place on the site of the current Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul cathedral, was takes place in the presence of many religious figures, Hugues de Payns and Count Thibaut IV of Blois. This council will lead to the creation of a rule specific to the order of the Temple. In 1188, a large fire destroyed a large part of the city and devastated the Abbey of Notre-Dame-aux-Nonnains, the collegiate church of Saint-Étienne, the palace of the Counts of Champagne and the old cathedral of Troyes, partially ruined. This fire brought about a reconstruction of this last building in Gothic architecture. The first windmills appear in the 12th century. Originally belonging to the Counts of Champagne, they were bequeathed to the cathedral chapter in order to provide for the reconstruction of the cathedral. After the cathedral chapter, the other religious congregations of Troyes in turn built a windmill to cover the investments. Fifteen mills are attested at the end of the twelfth century, such as that of Moline or Pielle; the molendini ad telas and follones. The city is also covered with monasteries, churches and industries serving the religious.

In 1264, Pope Urban IV established the Feast of the Universal Church, which would become Corpus Christi. This feast, dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament, is celebrated on the Thursdays following the Holy Trinity. From 1273, the town began work to bring water from a source to supply the city. Champagne is attached to the kingdom of France by the marriage in 1285 of Jeanne Ire of Navarre with the future Philippe le Bel. In 1288, an autodafé took place after the Trojan Jews were accused of ritual murder. On April 24, the court of the inquisition condemns 13 of them to go up to the stake.


The thirteenth century marked the beginning of the fame of the Champagne fairs, for which merchants came from all over the West. These fairs allow the development of many industrial trades such as textiles, tannery, stationery and dyeing. In Troyes, the celebration is held during Saint-Jean and Saint-Rémi in the historic streets of Bouchon de champagne such as rue Champeaux, rue de la Pierre, or rue des Anciennes-Tanneries.

Producer of linen and hemp sheets, Troyes has several mills for grinding rags, molendini and telas; manufacturers thus take advantage of the presence of these linen merchants to recover raw material from this marketing channel. Subsequently, the mills of La Pielle (in 1348) and Roy were transformed into paper mills. Troyes thus became, from the fourteenth century, a "capital" of paper suppliers in Europe. Around 1470, their buyers came from England - the presence of Trojan paper in Canterbury is attested - from Holland, or even from Germany. During the Hundred Years War, the city of Troyes is preparing to welcome the Anglo-Navarrese. In 1359, the Trojans, led by their bishop Henri de Poitiers, liberated the towns of Aix-en-Othe, Beaufort and Nogent-sur-Seine.

Troyes in the late Middle Ages
At the end of the 13th century, Troyes was no longer the capital of the county of Champagne. This has indeed passed to the kings of France and Châlons-sur-Marne was preferred as the administrative capital of Champagne. However, from 1417 to 1422, Troyes was in fact the capital of the Kingdom of France in the midst of the Hundred Years War. In 1420, the signing of the Treaty of Troyes designates the English king Henri V as heir to the crown of France after the latter marries Catherine de Valois, one of the daughters of Charles VI. Soon after, however, the Dauphin ascended the throne under the name of Charles VII. It was Joan of Arc who came to his aid; she took him from Orleans to Reims to be sacred. On July 9, 1429, Joan of Arc delivers the city from the English.

In May 1471, Louis XI confirmed the municipal administration with his letters patent.

A few days before Corpus Christi 1487, a fire broke out in an apothecary's shop. It lasts several days and destroys a large part of the city. The fact that it starts at night gives it a certain speed of expansion, at night increasing fears and hampering the fight against the fire. The city of Troyes nevertheless had, to fight against fire, giant syringes which made it possible to water the hearths more effectively than with buckets. The same year, the fairs of Bourges are moved to Troyes: indeed, a large part of the city of Bourges, including the covered markets, was destroyed by a gigantic fire and it cannot accommodate its fair.

Modern times
On May 24, 1524, a new fire broke out in the heart of the medieval town. The main district of the city, about twenty streets, thousands of houses and several historical and religious monuments are destroyed. The fire was favored by the presence of numerous cameræ, small rooms fitted out as lean-tos in the yards to accommodate the poor among the poor, which provided flammable material, reduced the firewalls formed by the yards and hampered disaster relief. This disaster caused a general impoverishment of the population but led the municipality to demand chimneys made of non-flammable materials (we could find wooden hoods covered with plaster) and chimney pipes protruding sufficiently from the roof.

On March 3, 1564, Charles IX passed through the city during his royal tour of France, accompanied by the Court and the Great of the Kingdom: his brother the Duke of Anjou, Henri de Navarre, the cardinals of Bourbon and Lorraine. During his trip, the king submits in a royal edict of March 29 the ports of Saint-Nazaire and Le Croisic to the royal seat of Guérande and on April 11 signs a peace treaty with Queen Elizabeth I of England in Saint Cathedral. -Pierre-et-Saint-Paul. This treaty allows Calais to become French once again.


Following Saint-Barthélemy (from August 27 to September 4, 1572), several dozen Protestants were massacred in Troyes.

In the mid-1580s, when the events of the 8th War of Religion began to unfold, Troyes, one of the few towns that had not yet been under the control of Henri de Guise, appeared as a nucleus of royalist resistance within the Champagne province. Within the city of Troy, this opposition to the power of the “Sainte-Union” is notably led by the Dinteville and the Saint-Phalle.

After the day of the Barricades, (Thursday May 12, 1588), which saw the occupation of the city of Paris (May 13), the Guise wanted to take the city. Henri III, in a letter, addressed to the local council and dated June 2, enjoins the Trojans not to receive Cardinal de Guise. Thanks to two leaguers, Yves le Tarlier and Jean de Hault, then archdeacon of the Saint-Étienne collegiate church, the ecclesiastic however made his entry on June 10 through the Porte de Croncels and went to the bishopric. The cardinal, taking part of the local authorities by surprise, who remained favorable to the royalist current, then made the Trojan city, during his stay (from June to September), "a second Paris". Mayor Jean Daubeterre receives him. The lieutenant general of the bailiwick, Eustache de Mesgrigny, was driven out, along with others, including canons who remained loyal to the king. They find refuge in Châlons-en-Champagne, remained faithful to the king, the city where Joachim de Dinteville is. Cardinal de Guise had the councilors of Troyes resign. On June 11, 1588, the favorite and treasurer of Cardinal de Guise, Nicolas de Hault was chosen as mayor by the general assembly (he remained so until 1592). On June 18, new councilors are elected by a general assembly. On June 23, the city sent two delegates, Souin and Goujon de Boulzy, to the capital to swear loyalty to the League. On July 19, at the parliamentary assembly in Rouen, a peace pact, induced by the day of the barricades, was signed between the two opposing parties. On August 19, the city undertakes to respect the Union which has just been sealed between the Guise party and Henri III. During the month of September, several Trojan deputies were sent to Blois to the States General, including, among others, Yves TartierNote 2, Philippe le Vert, lawyer for the bailiwick of Troyes, and Jacques Angenoust.

The Blue Library designates a first form of so-called “popular” literature, invented and printed in Troyes in 1602 by the Oudot brothers, in particular Nicolas Oudot whose sign is the Crowned Gold Cap. The printing was of poor quality and small in size; notebooks (similar to a brochure today) covered with a cover of blue-gray paper (like the inexpensive cover that wrapped sugar loaves), hence the name which, at the time, was first that of "Blue Books".

This literature, initially urban and local, was then popularized by hawkers and therefore extended to other urban areas (Rouen, Angers) and imitated. While remaining cautious, Roger Chartier considers that it was one of the main sources of culture of the popular masses in France; others, like Carlo Ginzburg, insist on our ignorance of the modes of reception of these texts; however, historians agree on the importance - difficult to measure - of oral culture: illiterates were content to appreciate the engravings, when there were any, but most of the time, they could have access to the text when collective reading sessions. However, a mixed clientele appropriated these books for nearly two centuries.

Outside France, the Volksbuch (Germany) and the chapbook (England) were developed at the same time.

The fairs of Troyes were prohibited during the seventeenth century. In 1694, they were authorized again. The city has its royal and military arquebus company of which the colonel is the governor, the lieutenant-colonel is the lieutenant-general of the provinces of Champagne and Brie and the captain is the royal mayor. Its bourgeois militia is divided into four battalions with four companies, Belfroy, Croncels, Comporté and Saint-Jacques.

Dominoterie was a flourishing industry in Troyes which mainly made playing cards and occupied more than forty mills around the city. It declined following a Colbert tax.


Although there had previously existed, during the sixteenth century, a corporation - the "Community of master bonnetiers of the city, fauxbourg and suburb of Troyes" -, making, at that time, hats using a fabric of wool, the first cotton and silk hosiery looms appeared in Troyes in 1745 thanks to the arrival of the stocking knitting loom (invented by William Lee in 1589) and the creation of the first factories. Although the locality of Arcis-sur-Aube, from the beginning of the 18th century, had previously been the Champagne heart of an important artisanal activity for this type of textile production, in 1770, Troyes had forty knit-makers and nearly 1 500 mainly concentrated within its agglomeration from the end of the 1780s. The city then became the capital of hosiery which, despite a decline from the 1930s, remained a major economic activity until the 1960s.

The Parliament of Paris was transferred to the city in 1787. In 1789, when the city was at the heart of the French Revolution, the mayor Claude Huez was assassinated after being wrongly accused of wanting to poison the people.

Contemporary period
Napoleon Bonaparte made several visits to the city in 1804 and 1814 during his campaign in France.

Within the Champagne commune, like the whole of the Aube region, the development of the hosiery industry began in the 1820s with the founding of the first establishments specializing in this economic sector. At that time, these structures intended for the manufacture of knitted textiles were, most of the time, managed by “merchant-manufacturers”. The foundations of this industrial area were finalized in the 1860s with the birth of the first factories equipped with mechanized equipment. In 1834, the city alone employed around 10,000 cotton hosiery trades and 12,000 workers, for an annual product of nearly 7,000,000 francs.

The city is linked to the capital by the railway in 1845, promoting its development. In 1849 takes place in Troyes the first festival singing orphéons, organized by Charles Delaporte. It brings together 200 orpheonists.

Developed from the 1840s, Troyes, around 1855-1860, became an important center for the construction of circular looms. The success of the knitwear industry in the nineteenth century is mainly due to the inventions of the mechanics of Champagne. English competition is very present; the English having more boldly used steam, the hosiery manufacturer must therefore create commercial and export services.

The exhibition of Troyes in 1860
During the Second Empire, the main news in Troyes was the progress of the textile industry; the mechanization of trades and the establishment of numerous factories are transforming the city's economic and urban landscape. We have to provide for the needs of the workers. The exhibition of Troyes in 1860 is the showcase of this progress.

Napoleon III gave a speech in Troyes in 1868. He declared that “Nothing threatens the peace of Europe”.

The epic of Napoleon III ends with the occupation of Troyes by the Prussians from November 1870 to August 1871.

The twentieth century
From January 21 to 23, 1910, the city of Troyes was the victim of serious flooding following the overflow of the Seine, causing significant damage.

The success of hosiery, a Trojan industrial sector of the “Belle Époque”, was confirmed during the interwar period, and many large companies were created in the city, notably Petit Bateau, Lacoste, and Sun. Others are created later, notably Absorba.

During the Second World War, on June 15, 1940, the German army, after taking Sens, Paris and a large part of the Aube department entered Troyes. Faced with the bombardments of the Nazis, the Trojans, panicked, decide to flee the city. After the capture, there will only be about 4,000 Trojans left in the city.

On August 24, 1944, the German army committed a massacre in Buchères in the south of the agglomeration of Troyes, commonly known as the “martyrdom of Buchères”: 68 civilians were executed, many houses were set on fire. The next day, eight hundred men seized the town and its agglomeration. The start of the fighting for liberation left around 60 dead and 572 prisoners. The following day, the city of Troyes is definitively liberated by the troops of General Patton.


Although this industrial area was the subject of diversification at the local level between 1950 and 1970, from the second half of the 1960s, the city of Troyes fell victim to the textile crisis. Indeed, companies are in competition with other countries, particularly in Southeast Asia and the Far East, and we are witnessing a disaffection of consumers for stockings. Despite everything, the town and its agglomeration now have nearly 250 companies linked to textile manufacturing and large factory outlet centers, making it the leading knitting center in France.

On January 30, 1976, the Patrick Henry affair began following the murder of young Philippe Bertrand, eight years old, at the end of his school year. The trial of Patrick Henry, considered one of the most famous in recent judicial history in France, has become that of the death penalty in France. Indeed, the murderer had been sentenced to life imprisonment while the entourage of family, editorial writers and politicians demand the death penalty for the crime.