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Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs

Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs: During the Middle Ages, the fairs of Provins and three other towns in the Champagne region were the most famous of the medieval fairs in Europe. The fairs developed from local markets to regional markets and later to fairs of Europe-wide importance. Provins linked the trade routes between Scandinavia, the Low Countries, the Netherlands and Belgium, with the Meditarranean world, especially Northern Italy. Due to the Champagne Fairs, Provins became a wealthy, commercial trading town. The decline of the Champagne fairs started in the beginning of the 14th century, when the Champagne region became part of France. Their place was assumed by the fairs of Geneva, Lyon and the Hanseatic towns of Brugge and Cologne. Provins has preserved its medieval architecture, among them the Caesar's tower, town walls, including two gates and 22 towers and the Saint-Quiriace Collegiate Church. On her return of the coronation of Charles VII in Reims, Joan of Arc visited the church in 1429. The oldest inn of France is located in Provins. Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs, gained the status as an UNESCO World Heritage in 2001.

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Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs - Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs: The 13th century town walls. Provins was one of the towns in the territory of the Counts of Champagne, that...

Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs: The 13th century town walls. Provins was one of the towns in the territory of the Counts of Champagne, that became a location for the great annual fairs. In the Middle Ages, merchants from all over Europe came here to buy and trade products such as textile, leather, fur, wool, linen cloth, silk and spices. Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs, gained the status as an UNESCO World Heritage in 2001.

  1. Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs - Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs: The 13th century town walls. Provins was one of the towns in the territory of the Counts of Champagne, that...

    Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs: The 13th century town walls. Provins was one of the towns in the territory of the Counts of Champagne, that became a location for the great annual fairs. In the Middle Ages, merchants from all over Europe came here to buy and trade products such as textile, leather, fur, wool, linen cloth, silk and spices. Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs, gained the status as an UNESCO World Heritage in 2001.

  2. Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs - Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs: The Saint-Jean's Gate. The purpose of the Saint-Jean's Gate was to ensure the protection of the road to...

    Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs: The Saint-Jean's Gate. The purpose of the Saint-Jean's Gate was to ensure the protection of the road to Paris. The fortified walls were built in the 13th century. Provins is still surrounded by fortified walls on three sides. The walls between the Jouy Gate and the Saint-Jean's Gate are the most interesting and complete part of the ramparts. You can take a walk on the walls.

  3. Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs - Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs: The Jouy Gate was erected in the 13th century. The gate opens onto the road leading to the Cistercian Abbey of...

    Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs: The Jouy Gate was erected in the 13th century. The gate opens onto the road leading to the Cistercian Abbey of Jouy from which it gets its name. This road was the most important  trade route, merchants traveled on this road to and from the fairs of Lagny, Troyes, Bar-sur-Aube and Provins. Provins linked the trade routes between the northern and southern part of Europe.

  4. Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs - Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs: The Caesar's Tower is one of the most iconic symbols of the town of Provins. Built on a hill, the tower...

    Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs: The Caesar's Tower is one of the most iconic symbols of the town of Provins. Built on a hill, the tower symbolises the power and authority of the Counts of Champagne over Provins and the region. The Caesar's Tower is the only known example of an octagonal keep built on a square bases. It was used as a watch tower and a prison, since 1689, the tower houses the bells of the Saint-Quiriace Collegiate Church.

  5. Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs - Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs: The Caesar's tower rises above the houses of Provins. Provins is one of the best preserved medieval cities in...

    Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs: The Caesar's tower rises above the houses of Provins. Provins is one of the best preserved medieval cities in France. Every street corner recalls the splendor of Provins during the Middle Ages. During the Middle Ages, the fairs of Provins became the most important in Europe. Provins was once one of the first financial markets in Europe. Due to the fairs, Provins became a very wealthy and commercial trading town.

  6. Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs - Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs: La Place de Châtel. This square is the centre of the town of Provins. In the centre of the square stand an...

    Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs: La Place de Châtel. This square is the centre of the town of Provins. In the centre of the square stand an ancient well and the 13th century Exchange Cross, here were financial transactions. It was also called the Cross of Edicts because it was used as a public notice board for the proclamations of the Counts of Champagne and later for those of the King of France.

  7. Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs - Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs: One of the pittoresque streets in the town of Provins. The slow disappearance of the fairs, as well as...

    Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs: One of the pittoresque streets in the town of Provins. The slow disappearance of the fairs, as well as the joining of the Champagne region to the Kingdom of France, led to the decline of Provins. Provins returned to being a small town, surrounded large open fields. Now, it is a well preserved medieval town with 58 monuments. Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs became an UNESCO World Heritage in 2001.

  8. Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs - Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs: The 'Maison Romane', the Romanesque House, is one of the oldest examples of civilian architecture in...

    Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs: The 'Maison Romane', the Romanesque House, is one of the oldest examples of civilian architecture in Provins. The Romanesque House was built in the 11th century, it was probably the local synagogue, situated in the Jewish Quarter. Now, it houses the Provins and Provins Area Museum. Most of the buildings of Provins dates from 12th and 13th centuries.

  9. Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs - Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs: Several pittoresque half-timbered houses in one of the historic streets of Provins. The medieval town of...

    Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs: Several pittoresque half-timbered houses in one of the historic streets of Provins. The medieval town of Provins was a well known trade centre, merchants came from all over Europe to sell their wares. Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs, was declared an UNESCO World Heritage in 2001.

  10. Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs - Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs: A characteristic of all the medieval buildings in Provins are the vaulted cellars, dating from the 12th to the...

    Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs: A characteristic of all the medieval buildings in Provins are the vaulted cellars, dating from the 12th to the 14th century. The Tithe Barn was used as an indoor market. People came here to sell or buy goods. It was only in the 12th century, that the Tithe Barn was used for storing the taxes, the 'tithes', which were collected from the harvests.

  11. Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs - Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs: The entrance into the 'Grange aux Dîmes', the medieval indoor market. Today, it is a museum that...

    Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs: The entrance into the 'Grange aux Dîmes', the medieval indoor market. Today, it is a museum that recalls the times of the medieval merchants who sold their goods here. The Tithe Barn, the French name 'Grange aux Dîmes', plays an important role in the book Foucault's Pendulum by the Italian writer Umberto Eco.

  12. Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs - Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs: The disappearance of the fairs, as well as the joining of the Champagne region to the kingdom of France, led to...

    Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs: The disappearance of the fairs, as well as the joining of the Champagne region to the kingdom of France, led to the decline of Provins. Provins returned to being a small town. Now, Provins is one of the most beautiful medieval towns in France and an UNESCO World Heritage, surrounded by vibrant yellow rapeseed fields (Brassica napus).