"Provins: The Past Lives" Top 5 Page for this destination Provins by ExGuyParis

Provins Travel Guide: 77 reviews and 210 photos

Provins was a major European trade center in the 12th and 13th centuries. At the “Champagne fairs, “ merchants from across the continent would offer a variety of goods. Today, Provins retains much of its medieval charm; many consider it the best-preserved medieval town. The walled city is incredible; you feel like you have stepped back in time. Cars are not permitted in the walled area during the day, which makes it nice for strolling. There is an interesting museum, inexpensive dining, the imposing Caesar’s Tower. The Tithe Barn (La Grânge aux Dimes), which is an impressive gothic structure, offers the history of the Champagne Fairs through wax figures and reconstructions of the crafts and wares of the era. There are several shows—one featuring falconry, one jousting, and another demonstrating medieval weapons. The walls are well preserved, and offer beautiful views as you stroll around the town. There are underground caverns (quarries) to tour. There is a church where Joan of Arc attended mass.

You will find interesting shops featuring tile, honey, regional products. I love the honey shop ("La ronde des abeilles" at 3 rue des Beaux Arts). I’ve gone back twice to buy more of their wonderful soaps with herbs and lavender seeds.

At the creperie by the main square, be sure to sample the rose ice cream and/or crepes, a specialty of the region. There is also a rather delicious spiced wine.

Provins is a great place to spend a day. It is just 56 miles (91 km) from Paris. There is ample parking outside the walls. You can also take a train from Gare de l'Est. At the visitor center you can buy assorted passes to see the monuments and/or shows.

Provins is a great town for strolling... not too big. There are enough interesting things to spend a full day exploring.

The Porte St. Jean welcomes you to the walled part of Provins.

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  • In a nutshell:Medieval Magic
  • Last visit to Provins: May 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (17)

Comments (45)

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
    Apr 7, 2007 at 4:03 AM

    thanks for the step back in time...I had been meaning to stop in at the Italian Herb Merchant! :-)

  • Mar 30, 2007 at 2:17 PM

    We'll finally be visiting Provins next week. I was wondering... is it a rather "quiet", isolated town, or is there also a new town outside the ramparts? I have no idea of what I can expect.

  • canuckmike's Profile Photo
    Mar 21, 2007 at 12:15 AM

    Pretty cool page on a place that I just discovered today.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Sep 25, 2006 at 2:06 PM

    A great looking town not far from Paris! Yes, I can well imagine you are having trouble re-adjusting to life in the States. (I know I would. In fact my life style would be totally impossible in most of the US.) Any plans for at least a vacation in Paris?

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo
    Dec 15, 2005 at 2:30 AM

    Nice stuff birthday boy. Very enticing.

  • aussirose's Profile Photo
    Mar 27, 2005 at 8:33 PM

    Oh my goodness Paul!!! Those buildings are gorgeous, Wow!!! And that jam & soap shop looks wonderful!! Thanx so much for introducing me to Provins. Cheers, Ann :o)

  • Dariana's Profile Photo
    Feb 22, 2005 at 8:11 AM

    I really must go back to Provins! It`s an interesting place that need to be more known. Good tips!

  • Hamster_Huey's Profile Photo
    Feb 3, 2005 at 5:15 AM

    The taj mahal is overrated anyways...

  • Dabs's Profile Photo
    Feb 1, 2005 at 8:14 PM

    Looks like a lovely place, thanks for sharing!

  • belgianchocolate's Profile Photo
    Jan 12, 2005 at 6:29 AM

    Definitely a destination to keep in mind when in the area. Wel captured.. ;-) frank


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