"Take a break from Paris" Top 5 Page for this destination Provins by rexvaughan
Provins Travel Guide: 77 reviews and 207 photos
A couple of years ago I picked up Annabel Simms' book, An Hour From Paris. It suggests about 20 destinations within an hour of Paris so we decided to give Provins a try and found it wonderful. Probably the most striking feature of this little city is its wonderful fortifications with Caesar's Tower and the big dome of the church of Saint Quiriace. It has several other notable churches as well as the wonderful Garnier Gardens. It also has some pretty significant historical connections as well. The site of the town has probably been occupied for many centuries, but come into its own around the year 1000 with the finding of the remains of Saint Ayoul (who knows who he/she was). This led to its becoming a religious center and thereby a commercial, trading and intellectual center as well. Some little known other historical connections:
For example, who knew that this lovely and bucolic little village was once the very heart of the Champagne region? About a millineum ago it was the major trading center featuring 2 or 3 fairs per year. It was the crossroads of people from around the world brought exotic items like spices, ivory and precious stones and local cloth were exchanged.
Also, Who knew the Lancaster red rose of English civil war history came from Provins? Well, it actually came from Thibault of Champagne who brought it home (in 1240) from the Crusades. According to legend he brought it from Jerusalem, but who knows. At any rate it eventually came to symbolize the town and even today is cultivated and used in local gourmet products. We even had a kir a la rose and I had a crepe with rose jam. It is also said that Edmund of Lancaster, brother of the king of England, added the rose to his coat of arms thus giving the Lancasters the red rose for war against the white roses.
- Pros:Lovely, historic and small enough to walk the whole town
- In a nutshell:A gem of French history in a nutshell
This is a homey but attractive little creperie in a lovely little square in the upper town. I don't know what the name... more travel advice
The dome Church of Saint-Quiriace tends to dominate the skyline of the upper village along with Caesars's Tower. The... more travel advice
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