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Provins in France Paris

Provins is a town in the Seine-et-Marne department of Īle-de-France region and is situated to the East Southeast of Paris.

Built on the site of a Roman fort, you can see the 12th century keep, which is called the Tour de Cesar and is in the older part of the city known as the Ville-Haute or Upper Town, which stands on a hill and is partly surrounded by medieval walls that were also built in the 12th and 13th century.

The Counts of Champagne decided to build these ramparts and gates to protect the trade fairs held at Provins, which was one of the most important economic centres in France.

Provins In France

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Provins in France Paris

But due to many things such as plague, politics and a change in trade routes, this town diminished in importance over time and became dated architecturally, although it is good news for us today, as there are approximately 2km of ramparts that still remain in tact, which is more than can be said for many places in France!

You can go for a lovely walk up and down cobbled streets in Provins and this town can be great for a day trip, with many different attractions for the tourists.

Being an original fortified settlement, it gives rise to shows and re-enactments and you can get to see demonstrations of different weapons the original settlement used along with jousting techniques, jousting tournaments and battle scenes acted out.  There is even a medieval festival, which is held in Provins every year in June where you can get to see people dressed in period costume, troubadours, dancers, crafts, etc.

And every day from April through until November you can get to see hunting birds such as falcons and eagles that are on display whilst on your holiday in France.

Although, as with most parts of France, you will find that there are more attractions to see during the summer months, there are tourist attractions that are open all year, such as the Tour de Cesar, also known as Caesars Tower and the surrounding defences, which was built as a watchtower and prison.

There are lots of old buildings still in existence today, such as the church of St. Quiriace that also owned property in the town and rented some of these out to merchants during the months of the trade fairs to store their goods. La Grange aux Dimes, also known as Tithe barn was one of these buildings and you can take a tour of this, which shows how spice merchants, stone carvers and other merchants were able to flog their wares.

The building nearby called the Maison Romane is also an original from the 12th century and now serves as a local history museum.

If, however, you have had enough of being above ground, you can take a tour of the tunnels and passageways, known as Les Souterrains, that were dug out by hand and used during the trading fairs to hold goods such as wine, fabrics and even gold.

Today, Provins is an attractive medieval walled town and is a world heritage site, that attracts visitors from all over the world, yet is also a fantastic setting for a Christmas market, where you will get to see, and buy, the local goods, whilst watching a live performance of the nativity story!

And even though the town is still inhabited it is so well preserved, that you will feel like stepping back in time, as Provins looks much as it did all those centuries ago.

Provins in France Paris

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