Troyes - Encyclopedia

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TROYES, a town of France, capital of the department of Aube, 104 m. E.S.E. of Paris on the Eastern railway to Belfort. Pop. (1906), 51,228. The town is situated in the wide alluvial plain watered by the Seine, the main stream of which skirts it on the east. It is traversed by several small arms of the river, and the Canal de la Haute-Seine divides it into an upper town, on the left bank, and a lower town on the right bank. The streets are, for the most part, narrow and crooked. It is surrounded by a belt of boulevards, outside which lie suburbs. The churches of the town are numerous, and especially rich in stained glass of the Renaissance period, from the hands of Jean Soudain, Jean Macadre, Linard Gonthier and other artists.

St Pierre, the cathedral, was begun in 1208, and it was not until 1640 that the north tower of the facade was completed. With a height to the vaulting of only 98 ft. it is less lofty than other important Gothic cathedrals of France. It consists of an apse with seven apse chapels, a choir with double aisles, on the right of which are the treasury and sacristy, a transept without aisles, a nave with double aisles and side chapels and a vestibule. The west facade belongs to the 16th century with the exception of the upper portion of the north tower; the south tower has never been completed. Three portals, that in the centre surmounted by a fine flamboyant rose window, open into the vestibule. The stained glass of the interior dates mainly from the 15th and 16th centuries. The treasury contains some fine enamel work and lace. The church of St Urban, begun in 1262 at the expense of Pope Urban IV., a native of the town, is a charming specimen of Gothic architecture, the lightness arid delicacy of its construction rivalling that of churches built a century later. The glass windows, the profusion of which is the most remarkable feature of the church, date, for the most part, from the years 1265 to 1280. The church of La Madeleine, built at the beginning of the 13th century, and enlarged in the 16th, contains a rich rood-screen by Giovanni Gualdo (1508) and fine stained-glass windows of the 16th century. The church of St Jean, though hidden among old houses, is one of the most picturesque in Troyes. The choir is a fine example of Renaissance architecture and the church contains a high altar of the 17th century, stained glass of the 16th century and many other works of art. St Nicholas is a building of the 16th century with a beautiful vaulted gallery in the interior. The church of St Pantaloon of the 16th century and that of St Nizier, mainly of the same period, contain remarkable sculptures and paintings. St Remi (14th, 15th and 16th centuries) and St Martin-es-Vignes (16th and 17th centuries), the latter notable for its 17th-century windows, are also of interest. The old abbey of St Loup is occupied by museum containing numerous collections. The Hotel Dieu of the 18th century is remarkable for the fine gilded iron railing of its courtyard. Most of the old houses of Troyes are of wood, but some of stone of the 16th century are remarkable for their beautiful and original architecture. Amongst the latter the hotels de Vauluisant, de Mauroy and de Marisy are specially interesting. The prefecture occupies the buildings of the old abbey of Notre-Dame-aux-Nonnains; the Hotel-de-ville dates from the 17th century; the savings bank, the theatre and the lycee are modern buildings. A marble monument to the Sons of Aube commemorates the war of 1870-71.

Troyes is the seat of a bishop and a court of assize. Its public institutions include a tribunal of first instance, a tribunal of commerce, a council of trade arbitrators, a chamber of commerce and a branch of the Bank of France. A lycee, an ecclesiastical college, training colleges for male and female teachers, and a school of hosiery are its chief educational institutions. There are also several learned societies and a large library. The dominant industry in Troyes is the manufacture of cotton, woollen and silk hosiery, which is exported to Spain, Italy, the United States and South America; printing and dyeing of fabrics, tanning, distilling, and the manufacture of looms and iron goods are among the other industries. The market gardens and nurseries of the neighbourhood are well known. There is trade in the wines of Burgundy and Champagne, in industrial products, in snails and in the dressed pork prepared in the town.


At the beginning of the Roman period Troyes ('Augustobona) was the principal settlement of the Tricassi, from whose name its own is derived. It owed its conversion to Christianity to Saints Savinian and Potentian, and in the first half of the 4th century its bishopric was created as a suffragan of Sens. St Loup, the most illustrious bishop of Troyes, occupied the episcopal seat from 426 to 479. He is said to have persuaded Attila, chief of the Huns, to leave the town unpillaged, and is known to have exercised great influence in the Church of Gaul. The importance of the monastery of St Loup, which he founded, was overshadowed by that of the abbey of nuns known as Notre-Dame-aux-Nonnains, which possessed large schools and .enjoyed great privileges in the town, in some points exercising authority even over the bishops themselves. In 892 and 898 Troyes suffered from the depredations of the Normans, who on the second occasion reduced the town to ruins. In the early middle ages the bishops were supreme in Troyes, but in the 10th century this supremacy was transferred to the counts of Troyes (see below), who from the 11th century were known as the counts -of Champagne. Under their rule the city attained great prosperity. Its fairs, which had already made it a prominent commercial centre, flourished under their patronage, while the canals constructed at their expense aided its industrial development. In the 12th century both the counts and the ecclesiastics joined in the movement for the enfranchisement of their serfs, but it was not till 1230 and 1242 that Thibaut IV. granted charters to the inhabitants. A disastrous fire occurred in 1188; more disastrous still was the union of Champagne with the domains .of the king of France in 1304, since one of the first measures of Louis le Hutin was to forbid the Flemish merchants to attend the fairs, which from that time declined in importance. For a short time (1419-1425), during the Hundred Years' War, the town was the seat of the royal government, and in 1420 the signing of the Treaty of Troyes was followed by the marriage of Henry V. of England with Catherine, daughter of Charles VI., in the church of St Jean. In 1429 the town capitulated to Joan of Arc. The next hundred years was a period of prosperity, marred by the destruction of half the town by the fire of 1524. In the 16th century Protestantism made some progress in Troyes but never obtained a decided hold. In 1562, after a short occupation, the Calvinist troops were forced to retire, and on the news of the massacre of St Bartholomew fifty Protestants were put to death. The revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 was a severe blow to the commerce of Troyes, which was not revived by the re-establishment of the former fairs in 1697. The population fell from 40,000 to 24,000 between the beginning of the 16th century and that of the 19th century.

See T. Boutiot, Histoire de Troyes et de la Champagne meridionale (4 vols., Troyes, 1870-1880); R. Koechlin and J. J. Marquet de Vasselot, La Sculpture a Troyes et dans la Champagne meridionale au seizieme siecle (Paris, 1900). (R. TR.) Counts Of Troyes. The succession of the counts of Troyes from the 9th to the 10th century can be established in the following manner. Aleran, mentioned in 837, died before the 25th of April 854. Odo (or Eudes) I. appears as count on the 25th of April 854, and seems to have been stripped of his dignities in January 859. Raoul, or Rudolph, maternal uncle of King Charles the Bald, was count of Troyes in 863 and 864, and died on the 6th of January 866. Odo I. seems to have entered again into possession of the countship of Troyes after the death of Raoul, and died himself on the 10th of August 871. Boso, afterwards king of Provence, received the countship in ward after the death of Odo I. A royal diploma was granted at his request, on the 29th of March 877, to the abbey of Montier-laCelle in Troyes. Odo II., son of Odo became count of Troyes on the 25th of October 877. Robert brother of Odo II., was count from 879. He married Gisla, sister of kings Louis III. and Carloman, and was killed by the Northmen in 886. Aleaume, nephew of Robert is mentioned in 893. Richard, son of the viscount of Sens Gamier, is styled count of Troyes in a royal diploma of the 10th of December 926. He was living in 931. Herbert already count of Vermandois, succeeded Richard, and died in 943. Robert II., one of the five sons of Herbert of Vermandois, is called count of Troyes in an act of the 6th of August 959, and died in August 968. Herbert II. the Old, younger brother of Robert II., succeeded him and died between 980 and 983. Herbert III. the Young, nephew and successor of Herbert II., died in 995. Stephen son and successor of Herbert III., was alive in 1019. His successor was his cousin, Odo II., count of Blois. From the 11th century the counts of Troyes, whose domains increased remarkably, are commonly designated by the name of counts of Champagne.

See H. d'Arbois de Jubainville, Histoire des dues et des comtes de Champagne (1859), vol. i.; F. Lot, Les Derniers Carolingiens, (1891), pp. 370-377; A. Longnon, Documents relatifs au comte de Champagne et de Brie (1904), ii. 9, note. (A. Lo.)

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