Day 1,612 of Traveling the World | Troyes, France | July 2, 2022

Ancient! Charming! Unusual! Authentic! The City of Troyes amazed us, and is probably one of the most unique cities we have visited in our travels. A fire destroyed most of the city in 1524. When they rebuilt, it was in the style of half-timbered houses. The Old Town overflows with them! They have kept them up, painted them in vibrant colors, and preserved this tradition for almost 500 years! It is amazing, and you can feel the history of bygone days as you walk the streets. So, we have started with photos of buildings, as they make Troyes what it is. By the way, don’t pronounce it as we did – Troy-ess. It is Twa! If you pronounce it the way we would in English, the locals will have no idea what you are saying. We have the same problem with the French word for butter – beurre. As hard as we have tried, even with their coaching, we still can’t pronounce it so they know what we are saying.

The city is also known for its high number of churches. We just can’t understand how, for hundreds of years, they have supported behemoth buildings, just a block or two from one another. We put in photos of two of the most noteworthy churches, but figured that was enough.

When we drove out of Troyes, through the new part of the city, it was quite ordinary – just office buildings and block houses. The treasure is in the Old Town. Are you ready for a tour? We have started with the oldest, least renovated building that we encountered…and we loved it!

This house was the least “modernized” that we saw – it looks like a movie set for a 16th century movie! Notice that the roof in the middle leans slopes to the right, just as you might expect from that time, as the home builder likely had no level or any sophisticated tools, really. There is something to love about it, nevertheless. It is authentic and accomplished its purpose of providing a family home.
Lots of the former houses are now retail shops downstairs, apartments upstairs.
The little roof overhang adds a little character.
This orange building stands out!
This duo is on the main shopping street in the Old Town, Emile Zola Boulevard.
It gets dizzying as you walk down various streets and see the same architecture everywhere.
The Town Hall of Troyes.
A beautiful, ancient complex in the city. This is the former Hotel de Vauluisant, now the Vauluisant Museum of the city’s historical past. As we walked into the courtyard, a man came out, crossed his arms, shook his head, and looked to the giant doors – he was closing for lunch!
The very beautiful Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul.
Those gorgeous arches again! The columns in here are massive!
The cathedral’s stunning rose window.
We must have walked down a dozen streets that looked just like this. We stopped for coffee on this one just to watch the world go by.
Three fabulous facial expressions. All of them are gargoyles on the Church of St. Urbain.
A combination of styles!
It was funny to see “San Diego, CA” on a t-shirt (for €12!) in a tiny souvenir shop in Troyes.
This was across from our coffee shop. We would love to know why they decided on Rosa Parks (for a burger joint, no less )!
The utterly gorgeous Church of the Madeleine. The ornamentation over the main aisle is called the “Jube” or Gallery. It was the work of the master mason of Troyes, Jehan Gailde, from 1508-1515. It is called “stone lace” and includes depictions of animals, grotesques, and figures in period clothing.
The back of the Jube. You can see how it connects the exposed staircase.
Beatrice Guillermin and Matthieu Lejeune were rehearsing for a concert they were performing. Listen to a little harp and cello!
These sculptured trees added some pizazz to this street.
The famous Ruelle des Chats – Cat Alley. Apparently, this used to be a normal walkway, but the houses have tilted and meet at the top, forming a shaded walkway.
Another view of Ruelle des Chats, this time from the inside.
LOVED the name of this hair salon – The Metamorphoses!
A teenage boy was sitting alongside this woman with the brimmed hat, and we thought it was a couple until we got closer. He moved away as we took the photo, being polite, and then moved back once we were done.
Do you just love the bottom of this water spout?? We spotted quite a few like this around town.
A creative way to showcase their glasses for sale!