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Provins, an unique testimony of a merchant town and of the fairs of Champagne of XIIth and XIIIth centuries...

 

Provins, UNESCO's World Heritage List

 
 

On the ancient lands of the Earls of Champagne, from the Year 1000, Provins is located on the crossroads of the European trade roads.

Gradually, the town becomes a very significant trade market.During the 12th and 13th centuries, Provins is at the height of its fame thanks to the famous Trade Fairs of Champagne.

The urban structure is organised to accomodate the great number of wholesalers: the wide streets for the transfer of goods and for the stalls, the three level merchant’s houses with somptuous vaulted low rooms…
The presence of water (Durteint and Voulzie rivers) favours also the economic activities and the expansion of many trades such as the woollen cloth manufacturer, the parchment maker, butcher, etc…

The impressive fortified wall was built during the 13th century and extended for 5 km (today 2 km), and it offers a catalogue of military architecture. Those ramparts protected the inhabitants and the tradespeople, and showed off the power of the Earls of Champagne.

Eight centuries later, the urban ensemble bears witness to its medieval history that stretched from 11th through to the 13th centuries.
The town’s architectural heritage is a supreme illustration of the emergence of commerce in early Western European history which is intimately linked to the growth of trade and cultural exchanges throughout Europe.

Provins is a real showcase of medieval architecture (military, religious and civil) and it is one of the few towns in France that can boast of over fifty listed Monuments with historical value.

Thus, Provins was inscribed on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List since the 13th December 2001.

 
Provins, UNESCO's World Heritage List