Troyes (TRECENSIS) in France

Saint-Martin-Es-Vignes - Troyes The origins: There is a line of thought which says that some of the Sicambrians (called Franks) migrated to an area west of the River Danube and settled in Germaniæ (named by the Romans after the Scythian phrase meaning genuine ones), near today's Köln along the River Rhine. It was from the time of King Meroveus, who was named Guardian of the Franks, that this line became known as the Merovingians. These in turn became the first truely French rulers. Indeed, one of the founders of the Frankish French Kings, clearly claimed ancestors who once resided in ancient Troy, by way of the Sicambrian immigration. It is sometimes claimed that French city of Troyes, was named by the Franks -- after a former abode -- Troy ?? Did the Romans name the City of Paris and the Parisii people after Prince Paris, the son of King Priam of Troy, based upon their knowledge of history ? Go HERE for more information about the original Troy.

The name Meroveus translates to Mérovée in modern French and is Merovech in the original. It sometimes simply stays Latinised as Meroveus or Merovius. He was a chief of the Salian Franks from 448-456. Mérovée founded a dynasty that ruled much of modern France and quite a bit of Germany too, from 448 to 751 AD. And of course Charlamegne, who took over soon thereafter, is kin to nearly everyone, too. Go HERE for more information about this lineage.

The roster of bishops of Troyes, known since the ninth century, designates the first bishop as St. Amator. He seems to have preceded by a few years Optatianus who probably governed the diocese in and about 344 AD. Among his successors are St. Melanius (Melain) (390-400); St. Ursus (Ours) (end. 426); St. Lupus (Loup) (426-478), who accompanied St. Germanus of Auxerre to England, persuaded the Huns to spare Troyes, taken away as a hostage by Attila (after Châlons) and only returned to his diocese after many years as a hermit in forced exile; St. Camelianus (479-536); St. Vincent (536-46); St. Leuconius (Leucon) (651-56); St. Bobinus (Bobin) (750-66) ...

In 878, Louis the Stammerer received the imperial crown at Troyes from the hands of Pope John VIII. At the end of the ninth century the counts of Champagne chose Troyes as their capital. In 1285, when Philip the Fair joined Champagne to the royal domain, the town kept a number of privileges. In 1417, John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy and ally of the English, aimed to make Troyes the capital of France. He reached an understanding with Isabeau of Bavaria, wife of Charles VI of France, that a court, council, and parliament with comptroller's offices should be established at Troyes. It was at Troyes, then in the hands of the Burgundians, that on 21 May, 1420, the treaty was signed by which Henry VI of England was betrothed to Catherine, daughter of Charles VI, and was to succeed him to the detriment of the Dauphin. The Dauphin, afterwards Charles VII, and Saint Jean d'Arc recovered the town of Troyes in 1429 for the French royal family.

On 20 June, 1353, Geoffroy de Charny, Lord of Savoisy and Lirey, founded at Lirey in honour of the Annunciation a collegiate church with six canonries, and in this church he exposed for veneration le Saint-Suaire (Shroud). Opposition arose on the part of the Bishop of Troyes, who declared after due inquiry that the relic was nothing but a painting, and opposed its exposition. Clement VI by four Bulls, 6 Jan., 1390, approved the exposition as lawful. In 1418 during the civil wars, the canons entrusted the Shroud to Humbert, Comte de La Roche, Lord of Lirey. Margaret, widow of Humbert, never returned it but gave it in 1452 to the Duke of Savoy. The requests of the canons of Lirey were unavailing, and the Lirey Shroud is now honoured at Turin. More HERE

Chrétien de Troyes (died c. 1185) was probably the greatest medieval writer of Arthurian romances. Of his life we know neither the beginning nor the end, but we know that between 1160 and 1172 he resided, perhaps as herald-at-arms, at Troyes. One poem, Le Roman de Perceval ou le Conte du Graal, was composed about 1175 for Philip, Count of Flanders, to whom Chrétien was attached during his last years. It was left unfinished at his death after he had written more than 9000 lines. It is commonly accepted that Chrétien based his story on Celtic sources, one such candidate being the story of Peredur, a version of which would be incorporated into the collection of Welsh legends known as the Mabinogion. This would explain Chrétien's Perceval the Welshman. The tales known as the Matter of Britain might have arrived in Brittany with refugees fleeing the Anglo-Saxon conquest of England.

Other names that you may recognize: Georges (show my head to the people, it is worth seeing) Danton, Renoir, 5th century Bishop, Saint Loup (Lupus of Troyes), Hastings (pirate normand…troyen), Hugues de Payns (fondateur de l’ordre des Templiers), Doctor of the Church and Saint, Bernard de Clairvaux (De Laudibus Novæ Militiæ), le Pape Urbain IV and many more. (en français)


Seigneurs, sachiez: qui or ne s'en ira
En cette terre où Dieu fut mort et vif
Et qui la croix d'Outremer ne prendra,
A grand peine ira en Paradis.

Qui a en soit pitié ou souvenance
Au haut Seigneur doit quérir sa vengeance
Et délivrer sa terre et son pays.

* * *

Douce dame, reine couronnée,
Priez pour nous, Vierge bienheureuse!
Et après nul mal ne nous peut échoir. -- Counts of Troyes

Cathedral at Troyes

These terms, which reversed the sovereignty of France and disinherited the Dauphin, were made official in the Treaty of Troyes. While her distressed husband remained out of sight and her dispossessed son, Dauphin Charles retreated to Bourges, Queen Isabeau gave the Treaty her wholehearted approval. If Catherine had any reservations about disinheriting her brother they were never documented, and it seemed to her contemporaries that despite the harshness of the treaty Catherine remained almost as keen for the match as her mother. Whatever her motives, Philip of Burgundy declared that from the moment of their first meeting, the princess had passionately longed to be espoused to King Henry. Henry and Catherine were betrothed on 21st May 1420 and a few weeks later were married in a magnificent ceremony at the Cathedral in Troyes. According to one contemporary, such pomp and magnificence was displayed during the ceremony, as if he had been king of the whole world.

As they say, things go downhill from here. Click on to find out more.

Troyes was a town famous for its bells, until many were melted down during the French Revolution. Nine active towers function today. Troyes like Reims is located in the Champagne region of France. One will find half-timbered houses and gabled roofs, the Renaissance private palaces or hôtels. The former Bishop's Palace (with major portions from 16th, 17th and 19th centuries) houses a Museum of Modern Art. The nucleus of that museum collection is art centered about 1900 (1850 to 1950), with works by Bonnard, Cézanne, Derain, Degas, Gauguin, Matisse, Modigliani, Picasso, Rouault, Soutine and Vuillard.

Église de Saint-PantaléonA new style for statuary arose in France during the 16th Century. Figures had distinctive faces, with an emphasis on clothing details, characterised by a kind of precision, with refined draperies, jewels and hair. This became known as the school of sculpture of Troyes. Not far off Rue Emile-Zola (the long SW to NE street at the city-centre), is the late Gothic-style Église de Saint-Pantaléon (16th-17th centuries -- Jacques Pantaléon, évêque de Verdun, puis patriarche de Jérusalem avant d'être élu pape en 1261 sous le nom d'Urbain IV), with 16th century stained glass. Overall the church represents a mixture of Gothic and Renaissance styles. Saint Pantaléon may appear overwhelmed within the narrow streets and the narrowness of its square isolates it even more; however, the building contains a premier collection of sculptures from the 16th century school of Troyes, well worth the time and effort to find and explore.

The central feature of Troyes is the Place du Maréchal-Foch, with the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall -- built 1624-1670, extended in 1935). Northwest of this is the church of Sainte- Madeleine (13th century-rebuilt in 16th century), with a fine Renaissance tower from 1560 and a Flamboyant doorway on the charnel-house. Northeast of the Town Hall, at Place de la Libération, is la Basilique de Saint-Urbain, one of the finest Gothic-style structures in the Champagne region. Built between 1262 and 1286, by Pope Urban IV a native of Troyes, the façade was completed only in the 19th century. It has an original (13th century) doorway with a Last Judgment in the tympanum. Lots of photographs from Troyes: HERE.

Metz -- Belfort -- Some others, nearby -- Colmar -- Mulhouse -- le Saint-Suaire -- Lörrach -- Avignon -- Nice -- Narbonne -- Strasbourg

Celtic/Frank History -- Germaniæ Historicæ -- Anglo Saxons -- Reformation from a French-Protestant point of view

Pau -- Bayonne -- Orléans -- Bordeaux -- Nantes -- Poitiers -- Île de Ré, La Roche-sur-Yon, LaRochelle, Rochefort, Saintes & Royan -- Tours -- Caen & Rouen -- Rennes & Brittany

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