Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Troyes

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

TROYES, a town of France, formerly the capital of Champagne, and now chef -lieu of the department of Aube, and an episcopal see, is 104 miles south-east of Paris by the railway to Belfort, at the junction of the line from Orleans to Chalons. Several arms of the Seine and also the Haute-Seine Canal run through the town. The cathedral of St Peter and St Paul, the building of which lasted from 1206 till the 16th century, still wants the south tower. The choir, the end chapels, and the sacristry were restored in 1849-1866. The 16th-century fagade, with mutilated bas-reliefs and statues, is surmounted by the tower of St Peter (230 feet). The choir, one of the most beautiful in France, belongs to the 13th century, as does also its re markable glass. The treasury contains gospels of the llth and 12th centuries, precious stones brought from the East at the time of the crusades, and ancient and beautiful lace. The unfinished church of St Urban, begun in 1262 at the expense of Urban IV., is a charming specimen of the best period of Gothic architecture, the side portals being remarkably light and delicate. The church of St Madeleine, built at the beginning of the 12th century, enlarged in the 1 6th, and recently restored, contains a rich rood-screen by Jean de Gualde (1508). In 1420 the treaty of Troyes was signed in the church of St John, where Henry V. of England and Catherine of France were sub sequently married. The church of St Remy, with a Romanesque tower, the churches of St Nizier and St Nicholas, both of the 1 6th century, and that of St Pantaleon, of the 16th and 17th, should also be noticed. There are some curious fireplaces in the town hall (17th century), and the municipal archives contain the correspondence of the dukes of Lorraine and Guise. The old abbey of St Loup is occupied by the library (80,000 volumes and 2720 manuscripts) and a museum containing numerous collec tions; that relating to natural history is rich in ornithology and entomology, and has many aerolites. Most of the old houses of Troyes are of wood, but some of stone of the 16th century are remarkable for their beautiful and original architecture. The chief industry of Troyes and the surrounding district is the manufacture of cotton and woollen hosiery, which is woven almost entirely by hand, and is exported to America and Switzerland. One-fourth of the population live by subsidiary industries. There are 14 cotton mills with 10,000 spindles, bleaching, dressing, and dye works, workshops for making looms, needle factories, iron and copper foundries, 8 flour mills, and nursery and market gardens. A trade is carried on in pork and cheese. A few miles from the town stands the curious church of St Andrew (16th century), with a remarkable portal. The population in 1886 was 46,972 (46,067 in 1881).

At the beginning of the Roman period Troyes (Augustobona) was the principal settlement of the Tricassi. It was christianized in the 3rd century, and its bishop St Loup (426-479) founded renowned schools, and averted the fury of Attila. In 484 Troyes passed into the hands of Clovis, and belonged sometimes to Neustria, sometimes to Austrasia, till all Gaul was united under Charles Martel. In 878 Pope John VIII. presided at a council in Troyes. The town was fired and sacked by the Saracens in 720, and by the Normans in 889 and 905. In 1229 Theobald IV., besieged in his capital, was delivered by king Louis IX., and in 1230 he granted the inhabitants a municipal charter. From this time the fairs of Troyes became celebrated. During the captivity of King John in England, Troyes resisted all attacks, and after Agincourt took the part of the Burgundians. In 1417 the rule of Queen Isabeau of Bavaria was established in Troyes, where in 1418 the parlement of Paris met; and on 21st May 1420 Henry V. of England, Charles VI. of France, Isabeau, and Philip of Burgundy signed the famous treaty of Troyes. On 9th July 1429 the town capitulated to Joan of Arc. In the 16th century Protestantism made rapid progress, but in 1562 the Huguenots were forced to retire to Bar-sur- Seine; after the massacre of St Bartholomew in Paris, the Calvinists in the prisons of Troyes met the same fate. In 1577 the inhabitants joined the League, and only opened their gates to Henry IV. in 1594. In 1787 the parlement of Paris again met here. In 1814 both the allied and the imperial armies occupied Troyes; and in 1870 the town was occupied by the Germans.