History of Troyes


The geographical position of Celtic grave-mounds surrounding Troyes and the exploration of Celtic artefacts in the City territories hint that Troyes as a settlement may have originated with the Celts as early as 600 BCE.

In the Roman era, it was named Augustobona Tricassium. Various highways converged here, principally the Via Agrippa, which led north to Reims and south to Langres and ultimately to Milan. Other Roman routes from Troyes led to Autun, Poitiers, and Orléans. It was the Tricasses’ civitas, who had been parted by Augustus from the Senones. In the Gallo-Roman city of the old Roman Empire, some distributed remains have been discovered, but zero public monuments other than hints of an aqueduct. In the later days, the settlement was reduced in size and referred to as Tricassium or Tricassae, French Troyes’ origin. It converted to Christianity in the 3rd-Century CE.

From the fourth century CE onwards, the town was the seat of a bishop. The legend of its bishop Loup (Lupus), who saved the city from Attila by offering himself as a hostage, is hagiographic instead of a real account. It was many centuries before Troyes gained importance as a medieval center of commerce.

The Battle of Troyes

The Battle of Troyes, also called The Battle of the Catalaunian Plains, was fought nearby in 451 CE, between the Roman general Flavius Aetius allying with the Visigothic king Theodoric I against Attila.

The Battle of Troyes took place on 20 June, 451 CE, between an alliance led by the Visigothic king Theodoric I and the Roman general Flavius Aetius against the Huns and their vassals governed by their king Attila. It was one of the last primary military operations of the Western Roman Empire, although Germanic foederati composed mostly of the coalition army. Whether the battle was strategically decisive is disputed: the Romans possibly prevented the Huns’ attempt to build Roman Gaul vassals. However, the Huns successfully pillaged and looted much of Gaul and paralyzed the Visigoth and Roman’s military capacity. Attila died only two years later, and a coalition of their Germanic vassals destroyed his Hunnic Empire after the Battle of Nedao in 454CE.

9th century

In the old cathedral on the current site, Louis the Stammerer in 878 collected at Troyes the imperial crown from the hands of Pope John VIII. At the dawn of the ninth century, following thefts to the city by Normans, Champagne’s aristocrats chose Troyes as their capital. It remained the capital of the Champagn Province until the Revolution of the late eighteenth century. The Abbey of Saint-Loup developed a scriptorium and a famous library.

Troyes was an important trading town during the Middle Ages and gave its name to troy weight. The Champagne cloth fairs and the rebirth of long-distance trade, together with a new extension of coinage and credit, were Troyes’ medieval economy drivers.

In 1285, when Philip the Fair joined Champagne to the royal domain, the city kept many legal privileges. Duke of Burgundy, and John the Fearless, 1417, lobbied to have Troyes chosen as France’s capital. He discussed with Isabeau of Bavaria, wife of Charles VI of France, that a council, court, and parliament with comptroller’s services should be installed at Troyes. On 1420 (21 May is a possible date), the Treaty of Troyes was signed in this town, still under command of the Burgundians, by which Henry V of England was engaged to Catherine, daughter of Charles VI. Under the terms of the agreement, Henry V was to replace Charles, to the detriment of the Dauphin.

Troyes was an important international trade center in medieval times, and the Troyes Fair was a significant event. The name troy weight for gold orignates from the standard of measurement that evolved there.

Town Hall of Troyes

The great fire of 1524 devastated much of the medieval city, although the town had many canals separating sections. The dawn of the 15th century and the start of the 16th were periods of success, but in 1524 this fire scorched 1,000 houses in Troyes. Calvinism had significant success there but in 1572, numerous Protestants were put to death. Louis XIV’s repeal of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 scattered the town’s Protestant population and significantly damaged its industrial prosperity; perpetual war and increased taxes finished its decline. During the end of the 19th century, Troyes started the development, which has remained since.

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Troyes, France.

  • 330-344 CE – Roman Catholic Diocese of Troyes established- The Era of Jesus Begins in Troyes
  • 426 – Lupus of Troyes becomes the bishop.
  • 9th century – Abbey of Saint Loup, Troyes founded.
  • 867 – Religious Council held.
  • 892 – Troyes sacked by aggressive Norman forces.
  • 898 – Troyes sacked by Norman forces yet again.
  • 1152 – Henry I, Count of Champagne in power.
  • 1188 – Devastating fire.
  • 1208 – Rebuilding of Troyes Cathedral starts.
  • 1262 – Basilica of St. Urbain, Troyes launched.
  • 1304 – “Union of Champagne with the domains of the king of France.”
  • 1359 – Couvent des Cordeliers de Troyes (convent) construction starts.
  • 1380 – Public clock is installed
  • 1419 – Troyes becomes seat of government of France during the long Hundred Years’ War.
  • 1429 – July: Siege of Troyes by armues of Dauphin of France Charles VII.
  • 1508 – Église de la Madeleine de Troyes  reconstructed.
  • 1518 – Devastating Plague.
  • 1524 – Fire destroys large part of town.
  • 1550 – Hôtel de Mauroy and Église Saint-Pantaléon de Troyes constructed.
  • 1651 – Public library is founded.
  • 1831 – Archaeology museum launches in the former Abbey of Saint Loup.
  • 1846 – Canal de la Haute-Seine open for public.
  • 1861 – Cirque de Troyes constructed.
  • 1886 – Population is 46,972.
  • 1899 – Tramway de Troyes [fr] starts operating.

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