Provins is a medieval town located in the Île-de-France region of northern France, approximately 80 kilometers southeast of Paris. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Provins is known for its well-preserved medieval architecture, city walls, and historical significance. Here are key points about Provins:
- Medieval Walls and Gates: Provins is surrounded by well-preserved medieval walls and fortified gates, which date back to the 13th century. The walls encircle the Old Town and are a prominent feature of the town’s heritage.
- Tour César: Tour César, or Caesar’s Tower, is a medieval tower located within the city walls. It offers panoramic views of Provins and the surrounding countryside. The tower is part of the medieval fortifications.
- Saint Quiriace Collegiate Church: Saint Quiriace Collegiate Church is a Romanesque and Gothic church located in Provins. It is known for its architectural beauty and houses notable religious artifacts.
- Place du Châtel: The central square in Provins, Place du Châtel, is surrounded by medieval half-timbered houses and serves as a gathering place for locals and visitors.
- La Grange aux Dîmes: La Grange aux Dîmes is a medieval tithe barn that dates back to the 13th century. It was used for collecting tithes, a form of taxation, during the medieval period.
- Provins Rose Garden: The Provins Rose Garden showcases a variety of roses and is a peaceful spot to explore. It is particularly beautiful in the spring and summer.
- Underground Galleries: Provins has a network of underground galleries, known as les souterrains, which were used for storage and trade during medieval times. Guided tours allow visitors to explore these hidden spaces.
- Medieval Festivals: Provins is famous for its medieval festivals, including the Foire de la Lune en Mai (May Moon Fair) and the Foire de la Saint-Lucien in October. During these events, the town comes alive with medieval reenactments, markets, and performances.
- Museum of Provins and Provinois: The museum offers insights into the history and heritage of Provins, showcasing artifacts and exhibits related to the town’s medieval past.
- Provins Train Station: The town is accessible by train from Paris, making it a convenient day trip destination for those staying in the French capital.
- Ramparts Walk: Visitors can take a walk along the town’s ramparts for scenic views of Provins and its surroundings.
- Cesar’s Circus: Cesar’s Circus is a large open space outside the medieval walls where various events, including medieval jousting tournaments, take place.
Provins’ medieval charm, well-preserved architecture, and cultural events make it a unique destination for history enthusiasts and those seeking a journey back in time. The town’s UNESCO designation recognizes its importance as a medieval trading town with a rich history.