Provins: Wikis


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Coordinates: 48°33′37″N 3°17′56″E / 48.5603634°N 3.2989883°E / 48.5603634; 3.2989883

Commune of Provins

Provins from north.jpg
Provins is located in France
Country France
Region Île-de-France
Department Seine-et-Marne
Arrondissement Provins
Canton Provins
Intercommunality Provinois
Mayor Christian Jacob
Elevation 86–168 m (280–550 ft)
(avg. 91 m/300 ft)
Land area1 14.72 km2 (5.68 sq mi)
Population2 12,219  (2006)
 - Density 830 /km2 (2,100 /sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 77379/ 77160
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.
2 Population sans doubles comptes: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs*
UNESCO World Heritage Site

Tour César in Provins
State Party  France
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, iv
Reference 873
Region** Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 2001  (25th Session)
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.
** Region as classified by UNESCO.

Provins is a commune in the Seine-et-Marne department in the Île-de-France region in north-central France.

Provins, a town of medieval fairs, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001.



Provins is not the largest city in the arrondissement, but it is the seat. The largest town is Montereau-Fault-Yonne.

The arrondissement has 7 cantons, 125 communes and 112,020 residents. The canton of Provins has 15 communes and 20,996 residents.


Provins was home to one of the Champagne fairs that were crucial to the medieval European economy, when the city was under the protection of Counts of Champagne.


Provins is well-known for its medieval fortifications, such as the Tour César (the Caesar Tower) and well- preserved city walls.

The Saint Quiriace Collegiate Church is located here. The Empress Galla Placidia is said to have presented Ancona with the relics of Judas Cyriacus. However, the saint's head was situated at Provins, which was brought over from Jerusalem by Henry I of Champagne, who built a church in this town to display it. It is still at the Saint Quiriace Collegiate Church, although construction work during the 12th century was never completed due to financial difficulties during the reign of Philippe le Bel. A dome was added in the 17th century, and the old families of Provins who lived in the upper town were called "Children of the Dome."[1]


Provins has important rose cultivation. It produces all sorts of foods from roses, and its main specialties are rose petal jam, Provinois rose honey and rose candy.


Provins was the birthplace of:

Twin towns

Provins is twinned with:

See also


External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

PROVINS, a town of northern France, capital of an arrondissement of the department of Seine-et-Marne, at the junction of the Durtain with the Voulzie (an affluent of the Seine), 59 m. E.S.E. of Paris by rail. Pop. (1906), 7546. The town enjoys a certain reputation for its mineral waters (which contain iron, lime, and carbonic acid, and are used for bathing and drinking), and is also known from its trade in roses, but it derives a higher interest from numerous remains of its medieval prosperity. Provins is divided into two quarters - the ville-haute and the less ancient ville-basse - which in the 13th century were surrounded by fortifications. There still remains a great part of these fortifications, which made a circuit of about 4 m., strengthened at intervals by towers, generally round, and now, being bordered with fine trees, form the principal promenade of the town. The large tower situated within this line, and variously known as the king's, Caesar's or the prisoners' tower, is one of the most curious of the 12th century keeps now extant. The base is surrounded by a thick mound of masonry added by the English in the 15th century when they were masters of the town. The tower serves as belfry to the church of St Quiri.ace, which dates its foundation from the 12th century. These two buildings in the ville-haute rise picturesquely from the crest of a steep wooded hill above the ville-basse. The church preserves among its treasures the pontifical ornaments of St Edmund of Canterbury (d. 1242). The interior is plain, but very beautifully proportioned. The appearance of the exterior suffers from an inappropriate dome erected above the crossing. The palace of the counts of Champagne, some fragments of which also belong to the 12th century, is occupied by the communal college. The old tithe-barn is a building of the 13th century with two fine vaulted chambers, one of which is below ground. The church of St Ayoul dates from the 12th to the ,6th centuries, the transept being the oldest part; it is in a state of great dilapidation, and the choir is used as a storehouse. St Croix belongs partially to the 13th century. Extensive cellars, used as warehouses in the middle ages, extend beneath portions of the town. On Mont Ste Catherine, opposite Provins, the general hospital occupies the site of an old convent of St Clare, of which there remains a cloister of the 14th century. The sub-prefecture, tribunals of first instance and of commerce are among the public institutions. There is an active trade in grain, livestock and wool, and the industries include flourmilling, nursery-gardening, brickmaking, and the manufacture of porcelain, pianos, gas and petrol engines, agricultural implements and sugar.

Provins began to figure in history in the 9th century. Passing from the counts of Vermandois to the counts of Champagne, it rapidly attained a high degree of prosperity. Cloth and leathex were its staple manufactures, and its fairs, attended by traders from all parts of Europe, were of as much account as those of Beaucaire, while its money had currency throughout Europe. In the 13th century the population of the town is said to have reached 60,000; but the plague of 1348 and the famine of 1349 proved disastrous. The Hundred Years' War, during which Provins was captured and recaptured, completed the ruin of the town. During the religious wars it sided with the Catholic party and the League, and Henry IV. obtained possession of it in 15 9 2 only after thirteen days' siege.

See Felix Bourquelot, Histoire de Provins (2 vols., Provins, 1839-1840).

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