There’s plenty to see in the central area of Troyes, an important city which became a vital link on the great trade routes between Italy and the cities in Flanders in the Middle Ages. This was the age when the town hosted two huge annual fairs, each of which lasted for three months and brought craftsmen and merchants from all over Europe.
A huge fire in 1524 destroyed much of the city which had become a center for hosiery and cloth making. But the city was wealthy and houses and churches were soon rebuilt and much of what you see today came from the 16th and 17th centuries.
Look at the shape of the old city on a map, and you see something looking like a Champagne cork, which is thoroughly appropriate for the second city of the Champagne region. At the top (to the north east) sits the cathedral and surrounding buildings, encircled by the Seine River. Then the old quarter stretches down over a canal into the medieval streets with their half-timbered buildings and churches. It’s a delightful place to stroll around.