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Verrières

This commune covers an area of 10.1km² and has around 1840 inhabitants who are known as ‘Verrichons’. It is located south-east of Troyes and adjoins Bréviandes and Buchères. Reached via the D49, D123 or the D147, it is 10km from Troyes city centre and 2km from junction 21 (Saint-Thibault) of the A5 from Paris.

Verrières is made up of 3 hamlets which combine to form the present village: Saint Martin, Saint-Aventin and Verrières. With the tranquillity of the countryside and the charm of the Seine valley, Verrières retains the characteristics of a rural commune. However, it also resembles a suburban commune due to its medical facilities and shops, and its thriving sporting, social and cultural associations. The commune provides residents with facilities including a sports stadium, a multi-sports pitch, a village hall and a library. Verrières has been awarded two flowers by the Villes et Villages Fleuris organisation for its environment.

The 16th-century church, which is dedicated to St Peter, is In the middle of Verrières, in Rue de la République. It was classified as an historic monument in 1937, its 16th-century stained-glass windows having been classified since 1894. The West Door has been classified since 1909. The tympanum was carved in around 1530, and depicts the coronation of the Virgin Mary by the Trinity. Surrounding it, there is a figurative design of small scenes including David and the Lion and Samson and Delilah, and ornamental vegetation. Altogether, it forms a marvellous example of sculpture from the region.

In the hamlet of Saint-Aventin, in Rue de la Chapelle, there is a small Romanesque church that was partially reordered in the 16th and 19th centuries. The porch has not been visibly altered, and is still as it was in the 12th-century. It has a simple structure and the entrance and two windows have semi-circular arches. It was listed as a historic monument in 1926. Many of its church furnishings, sculptures and religious artefacts are classified as historic monuments.

Near to the church in Verrières, the commune pays homage to those who died in the First World War with an obelisk standing on a pedestal. The monument is decorated with a metal olive branch and croix de guerre medal. 

Commune Website 

Bouranton

This commune covers an area of 8km² and is home to just over 540 inhabitants who are known as ‘Bourantonnais’. It is located about ten kilometres east of Troyes and can be reached via the D86 or the D186. Bouranton is about 5km from junction 23 (Thennelières) of the A26 between Calais and Troyes.

Bouranton has a primary school, and the ‘friends of Bouranton’ association organises various activities to bring the community together. Events including walks, meals and cultural outings all contribute to community life. It is one of the communes of the Forêt d’Orient Regional Nature Park.

The church of Saint-Pierre et Saint-Paul, built in the 12th and 16th centuries, stands in the middle of the village next to the D186, the Rue de la Fontaine Saint-Pierre. The church houses a processional pole of St Peter dating from the 19th century which incorporates a 17th-century statuette.  Made of wood, together they have been classified as objects considered to be historic monuments since 1975. Just over a dozen of Bouranton's church furnishings are classified as historic monuments, including a 16th-century limestone statuette of Saint Eloi, a bronze bell cast in 1578, the painted and gilded high altar from the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as a 1.55m-tall 14th-century polychrome limestone statue depicting a Madonna and Child and a life-size statue of Saint Peter dating from the 19th century. The old cemetery still surrounds the church and the Gallic cockerel stands atop the First World War Memorial by the churchyard wall.

Saint-Pouange

This commune covers an area of 10km² and has 893 inhabitants who are known as ‘Glayotas’. It is located 10km south-west of Troyes. Reached via the D72, D109 or the N77, it is 9km from junction 21 (Saint-Thibault) of the A5 from Paris.

Green, wooded and dotted with fields, the commune of Saint-Pouange is a pleasant place to live and has a nursery and primary school and an agricultural high school. Sports and leisure associations, a public library, and the facilities provided by the commune make it a pleasant place to live. It has been awarded one flower by the Villes et Villages Fleuris organisation.

In the middle of the village in Rue de la Reine Blanche, stands the church of Saint-Pouange, which was rebuilt in 1854. The church retains its 12th-century apse, and a vault and window from the 15th century, as care was taken to avoid obscuring the history of the church. Many sculptures that are kept in the church are classified as objects considered to be historic monuments. These include a 14th-century polychrome limestone Madonna and Child and a limestone St Sebastien dating from the 16th century, which may have been made by the school of the Maître de Chaource. Two limestone sculptures from the first quarter of the 16th century in the style of the Maître de Chaource have strained expressions that reflect the sufferings experienced by these saints or the physiological scars that can be seen in other sculptures by the Maître. The stained-glass windows in the church of Saint-Pouange date from the 16th century and are also classified as historic monuments.

In front of the church, an obelisk on a plinth is decorated with the victory palm and commemorates ‘its heroic children who died for France’ during the First World War.

In the Rue du Lavoir to the east of the village, the wash tub used by the washerwomen of Saint-Pouange from the second half of the 19th century to the beginning of the second half of the 20th century can be seen in the small open-beamed wash house. 

Commune Website

Laines-aux-bois

This commune covers an area of 16.4km² and has 510 inhabitants who are known as ‘Laignerans’. It is located 11km south-west of Troyes. Reached via the D83, D94, or the N77, it is 9 minutes from junction 20 (Torvilliers) of the A5 from Paris.

Consisting of the main village and the hamlet of Les Grandes Vallées, Laines-aux-bois is at the foot of the historic hill of Montaigu and on the doorstep of the Pays d’Othe. With the wooded hill on one side and the plain covered in fields on the other, Laines-aux-bois has an exceptional natural landscape. With voluntary organisations and facilities provided by the commune, such as the primary school and library, Laines-aux-bois is a pleasant place to live.

In the middle of the village, next to the Mairie, the church of Saint-Pierre-ès-liens, which dates from the 16th century, has a south door that has been classified as an historic monument since 1955. The church was partially destroyed by the 1910 floods, but the flamboyant doorway, the first bay of the nave and the bell tower survives. It houses a number of sculptures that are classified as objects considered to be historic monuments, including a Pietà, a sculpture of St Catherine, St Roch and St Antoine dating from the 16th century, a 15th-century St Marguerite and a St Evêque and a St Nicholas from the 17th century.

In the cemetery, a war memorial stands in memory of those who died in the First World War. Just before you reach the hamlet of Grandes Vallées on the road from the main village of Laines-aux-bois, a hedge separates the road from the memorial to members of the LIBE-NORD resistance movement who were shot during the Second World War. A fluted column topped with the cross of Lorraine stands on a pedestal and is surrounded by four men with emaciated bodies, their hands tied behind their backs standing tall to face their deadly fate. 

Saint-Lyé

This commune covers an area of 32.7km² and has about 2915 inhabitants who are known as ‘Lyotains’. It is located about ten kilometres north of Troyes. Reached via the D15, D20, D60 or the D619, it is just over 10 minutes from junction 22 (Charmont-sous-Barbuise) of the A26 between Calais and Troyes and 15 minutes from junction 20 (Torvilliers) of the A5 from Paris.

Stretched out beside the woods that cover the banks of the Seine and the old Haute-Seine canal, the commune of Saint-Lyé is extended by the fields that look out over the Champagne Crayeuse plain. The Villes et Villages Fleuris organisation has awarded Saint-Lyé one flower that it shares with its hamlet of Grange l’Evêque. Saint-Lyé has a nursery school and a primary school and has many associations that contribute to the life of the town. Services offered by and for the Lyotains include sports, leisure activities, cultural events and home helps.

The church of Saint-Lyé dates from the 11th and 12th centuries and was added to the supplementary list of historic monuments in 1972. Its 16th-century stained-glass windows have been classified as historic monuments since 1913. In the Place de l'Eglise you can see one of the rare examples in Aube (there are about thirty) of a Romanesque church. It retains a wealth of furnishings of which around twenty items are classified as historic monuments. These include two arm-shaped reliquaries, one of painted oak and the other of oak decorated with silver-leaf, dating from the 18th century, the 16th-century oak shrine of Saint-Lyé, a 16th-century painted limestone sculpture representing the high points of the life of the Virgin in high relief, as well as polychrome oak statues of saints dating from the 17th century. 

Next to the church, victory stands on a square column in memory of those killed in the world wars and the Algerian war.

Saint-Lyé has a long history, and even hosted the marriage of a king. In 1315, due to a hazardous chain of events, King Louis X of France was married to his second wife Clémence de Hongrie in the now destroyed fortress of Saint-Lyé

Commune Website 

Isle-Aumont

This commune covers an area of 3.5km² and has around 505 inhabitants who are known as ‘Islois’. It is located within the greater Troyes area and is 12km south of the city centre. Reached via the D93, D123 or the D444, Isle-Aumont is less than 5 minutes from junction 21 (Saint-Thibault) of the A5 from Paris.

Isle-Aumont has sports and leisure facilities that are open to associations, agencies and residents of the commune. There is a primary school in Isle-Aumont that is part of an inter-communal group shared with Saint-Thibault, Cormost and Les Bordes-Aumont. The commune is located in the Champagne Humide region where old rural cottages and tree plantations are dotted amongst the gently rolling fields.

In the middle of the village a mound was, and is, the source of Isle-Aumont’s renown. In the time of the Merovingiens in the 5th century, one of the earliest monastic houses in Gaul was built here. Then, during the 11th and 12th centuries a castle was built for the Counts of Champagne. In the church, which is dedicated to St Peter, you can still see the Carolingian sanctuary below the 10th-century choir, the Benedictine nave (12th century) and the gothic nave (15th - 16th century). During the 1960s Jean Scapula uncovered a necropolis consisting of a thousand graves, some of which are displayed in the church. This site, which was classified as an historic monument in its entirety in 1967, makes Isle-Aumont a tourist destination, and enables people to discover the long history of this place through the traces that remain. Wooden sculptures, most of which are from the Troyes school, and which include a Christ de sérénité, which may have been given by Saint-Louis, make this historic mound a real museum.

Below the mound, the First World War memorial marks a period of history that was in close contact with Isle-Aumont. 

Thennelières

This commune covers an area of 6.7km² and has around 340 inhabitants who are known as ‘Tanoclariens’. It is located 15 minutes east of Troyes. Reached via the D48, D161 or the D690, it is 2 minutes from junction 23 (Thennelières) of the A26 between Calais and Troyes. 

Thennelières has a primary school, and its sports associations and festivities committee contribute to making it a nice place to live It is recognised as one of the communes of the Forêt d’Orient Regional Nature Park. Thennelières offers a unique place to live where the protection of the natural environment and the preservation of local heritage go hand in hand with economic development. Rural timber-framed cottages with brick infill that are typical of the Auboise countryside have more modern houses dotted among them.

The church, in Rue du 14 Juillet, is dedicated to Pope Leo III. It has a Romanesque nave (10th - 12th centuries) and an apse and transepts dating from the 16th century. The whole building was completely restored in the 19th century and the church is still maintained today. The slenderness of its bell tower and roof, combined with the half-timbering of the eaves and the stonework, give it rustic charm. The 16th century stained-glass windows were classified as historic monuments in 1908. As well as being fine examples of 16th-century glass work, some were created under the patronage of the Dinteville family. One member of the Dinteville family is partially buried in Thennelières church. Under a black and white marble gravestone encrusted with copper and dated 1531 (which is classified as an historic monument) lie the hearts of Gaucher de Dinteville and Anne du Plessy.  Other items of church furnishing in Thennelières church are also classified as historic monuments, including a polychrome wooden reliquary bust of a holy bishop dating from the 18th century, and the effigy of Louise de Coligny. This is so realistic that it must have been carved from life or from a death mask. Dating from the end of the 16th century, it is made from white marble and lies on a black marble slab.

Next to the church, the First World War Memorial has the croix de guerre medal and a victory palm carved on an obelisk.

Saint-Benoit-sur-Seine

This commune covers an area of 11.7km² and has 410 inhabitants who are known as ‘Bénédictins’. It is located 14km north of Troyes. Reached via the D15 or the D78, it is 9 minutes from junction 22 (Charmont-sous-Barbuise) of the A26 between Calais and Troyes.

Farmhouses, fields and the Seine give this village in the Champagne Crayeuse region its rural feel. It is a thriving community.

The church of Saint-Benoit dates from the 11th century and is the origin of the village’s name. Until the 11th century it was called Thurcy, but the Bishop of Troyes gave it to the Abbey of Saint-Benoit-sur-Loire. The village was renamed and the church, which was built in the  Romanesque period, was dedicated to St Benedict. Today, the nave and doorway are Romanesque, whilst the apse and transepts are 16th-century. It retains several items of church furnishing that are classified as historic monuments, including a limestone statue of St Benedict dating from the 16th century, a 17th-century oak sculpture of St Anne, and the painted and gilded oak tabernacle and reredos dating from the 17th century.

The church is situated above the main road and the First World War memorial is located below it. 

Ruvigny

This commune covers an area of 4km² and has 480 inhabitants who have been officially known as ‘Ruvigniens’ since 2015. Ruvigny is located 13km south-east of Troyes. Reached via the D161, it is 3 minutes from junction 23 (Thennelières) of the A26 between Calais and Troyes.

Ruvigny has a nursery school that is open to children from the neighbouring communes of Rouilly-Saint-Loup and Montaulin, forming part of the inter-communal group of schools. This verdant village of has typical rural half-timbered cottages alongside new builds.

The church of l’Assomption de la Vierge dates from the very end of the 16th century and was erected during the second major period of construction in Aube. Four centuries after the first period of construction, the end of the Hundred Years’ War brought a new wave of prosperity and architectural endeavour. In the 16th century, two designs were favoured: the rectangular and the cross-shaped, of which Ruvigny is a typical example. Its 16th-century stained-glass windows depicting Saint Thibault, Saint Claude, Saint Jauran, Saint Nicholas, Saint Sebastian, the life of the Virgin and the crucifixion, are classified as historic monuments. Other items of church furniture are also listed, including a triptych of La Sainte Conversation  painted in oil on wooden panels and dating from 1584. It is stored and preserved in Ruvigny’s Mairie.

There is a plaque in memory of those who died in the First World War and the Algerian War affixed to the Mairie. Rescue excavations were undertaken around the church in 2010 following a survey in 2006 prior to building work. They revealed a rural house dating from the 13th & 14th-centuries.

Vailly

This commune covers an area of 11.2km² and has 305 inhabitants who are known as ‘Vailletons’. It is located about13km north-east of Troyes. Reached via the D22 or the D26, it is 8 minutes from junction 22 (Charmont-sous-Barbuise) of the A26 between Calais and Troyes.

Vailly has wide-ranging views over the Champagne Crayeuse region and into the distance. The residents organise events and meet in various associations including a model-aircraft society.

The church of Saint-Nicolas is a rare example in Aube of a church that was built in the 17th century. The large amount of construction in the 16th century, along with the churches built in the 12th century, meant that there was little building undertaken in the 17th century. Saint-Nicolas was, however, built in 1678 to replace the Romanesque church that was originally on the site. The church retains several items that are classified as historic monuments, including two 16th-century sculptures, one of oak representing the education of the virgin, the other in limestone depicting St Eloi, a limestone bas-relief that is also from the 16th century and depicts St Nicholas and two 18th-century statues - an oak Madonna and Child and a limestone Saint Claude.

On the main road through the village, Vailly commemorates those killed in the First World War. The memorial shows the victory palm and croix de guerre medal on a square column and is maintained by the residents of the village.

Souligny

This commune covers an area of 10.5km² and has nearly 430 inhabitants who are known as ‘Subligniens’. It is located 13.5km south-west of Troyes. Reached via the D72, D94 or the N77, it is 13km from junction 20 (Saint-Thibault) of the A5 from Paris.

The commune is next to Bouilly, at the foot of Montaigu - the former territory of the Counts of Champagne and location of their castle, which was destroyed following the Treaty of Troyes in the 15th century. Today, the hill has various footpaths and a panoramic view over the Troyes plain. This hill is much appreciated by walkers for its outstanding natural beauty and its long history. Souligny is part of an inter-communal school group with Bouilly, Javernant and Sommeval.

Barns, farmhouses and half-timbered and brick-built rural cottages are characteristic features of the Auboise countryside that can be seen in Souligny.

Along the N77, in front of the cemetery, there is an obelisk decorated with a victory palm that pays homage to ‘its children killed for France’ during the First World War.

Saint-Thibault

This commune covers an area of 11.7km² and has around 500 inhabitants who are known as ‘Théobaldiens’. It is located south of Troyes and adjoins Buchères. Reached via the D66, D93 or the D671, Saint-Thibault is 13km from Troyes city centre, and 3km from junction 21 of the A5 from Paris.

Although the commune is classified as being ‘peri-urban’, the village has retained its agricultural character. Saint-Thibault is located in a lush natural environment close to the Seine. It has a variety of infrastructure including a village hall, youth centre and sports stadium. Each year the ‘Rencontres Théobaldiennes’ convene in a different city to experience European culture and to share and preserve the heritage of Saint-Thibauilt.

For several years, historical research has facilitated the sharing of knowledge, and the creation of cultural and tourist links. Friendships have been forged between Belgians, Italians and French, who are all share a passion for St Thibault, or Theobald. Theobald traveled along ancient routes that took him from Provins - his home town - to Belgium, Germany, Santiago de Compostela, and finally to Northern Italy, where he died. He is still venerated widely today. His relics were dispersed, especially around Champagne, and some are here at Saint-Thibault. In the middle of the village, on the West Door of the church of Saint-Thibault there is a 16th-century sculpture  that was rescued from the fire that destroyed the previous church. The present church was built in 1924.

On Grande Rue, an obelisk and memorial stone pay homage to those who died in the First and Second World Wars.

Prugny

This commune covers an area of 8km² and is home to just over 380 inhabitants who are known as ‘Prugneaux’. It is located 14 km south-west of Troyes and can be reached via the D53 or by taking the D83 from Messon. Located ten minutes from the N77 between Auxerre and Troyes, Prugny is about 5 minutes from junction 20 (Torvilliers) of the A5 from Paris.

Situated in a green valley, the commune of Prugny has been awarded two flowers by the Ville et Villages Fleuris organisation. The festivities committee and Prugny's relaxation and leisure club help to make the commune a great place to live.

The church of Saint-Nicolas was rebuilt in the 18th century following a disastrous fire in 1690. The stained-glass windows date from the 19th century. Prugny retains a wealth of church furnishings many of which are listed as historic monuments, including a 14th-century wooden Madonna and Child and three carved and gilded wooden processional poles dating from the 19th century. There is also a 16th-century gilded wood statuette of Saint Evêque and many 18th-century objects, including the glided and painted oak and imitation-marble high altar, a crucifix, a painted wooden medallion depicting the annunciation, a gilded and painted Madonna and child and an eagle lectern.

There are many crosses dotted around the country areas of Prugny, and the first world war memorial was placed at crossroads of the two main roads - Grande Rue and Rue des Maîtres - in 1920.

Bouilly

This commune covers an area of 15.5km² and has nearly 1055 inhabitants who are known as ‘Bouillerands’. It is located 14km south-west of Troyes. Reached via the D34, D77, D190 or the N77, it is 15 minutes from junction 20 (Torvilliers) of the A5 from Paris.

Bouilly is on the doorstep of the Pays d’Othe and is dominated by the hill of Montaigu. It has shops, schools, medical facilities, access to an inter-communal media library and sports facilities. It has been awarded 2 flowers by the Villes et Villages Fleuris organisation. The rural aspects of Bouilly contribute to its way of life. Forest walks along the Sentier des Moutons start in Bouilly, enabling people to explore the stories, legends and anecdotes associated with this historic site.

The Counts of Champagne owned the hill of Bouilly, and their castle - which was destroyed following the Treaty of Troyes in 1420 - provided a living for the Bouillerands, who were obliged to provide various services and duties. Today, the ancient view over the Troyes plain remains, and there are many information panels that help walkers to understand the history of this natural and historic site.

Bouilly also retains many public buildings that recall its history. Bouilly’s wash house has been preserved, and is in the middle of the village in the Rue de l’Hôtel de Ville. It now houses the equipment used by the commune’s works department. Built of brick in 1861, it set the pace of daily life for the Bouillerands until the beginning of the second half of the 20th century. A few metres away, the current Mairie, which was built between 1880 and 1882, shows the typical architecture of 19th-century town halls in the era of the Republic. In front is the war memorial, an obelisk that commemorates those who died in the First World War.

Next to the Mairie, the 16th-century church of Saint-Laurent, has regularly been restored. Classified as an historic monument in 1909, it was built in two phases: the nave, eastern transept and porch date from 1520 - 1540, whilst the western transept, the apse and choir date from 1540 - 1560.  It has double transepts (meaning that two transepts cross the nave) a design that was particularly fashionable in the early 16th century. It houses a wealth of church furnishings many of which have been classified as historic monuments since the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. For example, an oak reredos showing the life of St Nicholas dating from the 16th century and assembled in the 19th century, the 16th-century limestone high altar with a profusion of details that match the quality of their execution with the overall design, and also a very fine polychrome limestone sculpture of Sainte Marguerite.  The latter was exhibited at the exhibition ‘Le Beau XVIe: masterpieces of sculpture in Champagne’ which was held in 2009 at the church of Saint-Jean-au-Marché in Troyes. 

Commune Website

Moussey

This commune covers an area of 7.3km² and has 606 inhabitants who are known as ‘Mousséens’. It is located in the suburbs west of Troyes, 10km from the city centre. Reached via the D25, D85 or the D444, the edge of Moussey is less than 2km from junction 21 of the A5 from Paris.

Farming is still an important industry in the commune. The local council spearheaded the creation of an industrial estate focusing on craft skills in 2003. Nursery and primary school children are catered for by an inter-communal arrangement. Moussey has many local events, community associations and sports clubs, including the unusual and long-established Compagnons de Saint Martin table tennis club, which has been playing at a regional level for 50 years.

In the countryside to the north-east of the village there are two exceptional buildings. The Château de Villebertin, an old feudal castle that now owes more to the 19th century, and the Domaine de la Creuse, which was built in the 18th century using traditional Champenoise timber-framing. The Domaine de la Creuse now offers bed and breakfast accommodation so visitors can make the most of its refined and idyllic setting.

Moussey has been able to retain its rural character and most recently, has restored its wash house. This was built in 1861 and can be seen between numbers 44 and 46 Route de Villebertin, on the edge of the village on the road to Chaource. It bears witness to the daily life of the Mousséens until the 1950s. A short distance away, in the middle of the village, the Romanesque architecture of the church of Saint-Martin catches the eye. Somewhat unusually, it is in its original state without any detrimental 16th-century alterations, and was therefore added to the supplementary list of historic monuments in 1926. Its stained-glass windows, like many in the region, date from the 16th century and have been classified as historic monuments since 1913. The simple lines, small semi-circular arched windows and large porch make this a charming church, as does the 19th-century organ that has been classified as an historic monument since 1980.

 Commune Website

Feuges

This commune covers an area of 11km² and has around 300 inhabitants who are known as ‘Feugeois’. It is located about 15km from Troyes. Reached via the D15 or the D677, it is 3 minutes from junction 22 (Charmont-sous-Barbuise) of the A26 between Calais and Troyes.

Feuges is in the middle of the expansive fields of the Plaine Champenoise, which means that agriculture is a major industry here. These wide open spaces are typical of the landscape north of the city of Troyes. Feuges is connected to the neighbouring communes of Charmont-sous-Barbuise and Vailly by the school group. The school at Charmont-sous-Barbuise is open to residents of Feuges, as is the multimedia library. Village events are organised by the festivities committee.

The church of Saint-Benoit dates from the 12th century. It is one of the oldest Romanesque churches in Aube to retain its original architecture, but it was restored in the 16th century and contains a 16th-century window of the adoration of the shepherds that is classified as an historic monument. The east end of the church (comprising the quire and apse) is square rather than rounded, showing the influence of rural architecture on sacred buildings in the countryside built during the 12th century. The church has been listed as an historic monument since 1972 and houses a treasure of polychrome wooden sculpture. The enormous crucifix (1.82m x 1.74m) dates from the last quarter of the 16th century and has been classified as an historic monument since 1911. The richness and finesse of the detailing and the quality of the workmanship and carving - as well as its imposing dimensions - bring intensity to this work that matches Christ’s expression of restrained suffering.  With closed eyes and furrowed brows, crucifixes were intended to help believers to be compassionate and to pray. Now recognised as an important example of 16th-century Champenois sculpture, it was exhibited at the exhibition ‘Le Beau XVIe siècle: masterpieces of sculpture in Champagne’ which was held in 2009 at the church of Saint-Jean-au-Marché in Troyes.

Commune Website 

Montgueux

This commune covers an area of 11.25km² and has 405 inhabitants who are known as ‘Montgueuillats’. It is located about 12km west of Troyes. Reached via the D91 or the D141, it is 5km from junction 20 (Torvilliers) of the A5 from Paris.

Montgueux is part of a school group with the communes of Saint-Lyé and Macey which organises which age groups are taught where according to numbers. Macey and Montgueux also share their sports association, which offers many activities including football, fitness classes and judo. The hill is known for its champagne producing vines and its uninterrupted view of the city of Troyes and its surrounding communes.

Located on the hill of Montgueux, the commune is located on the site of a castle that was built around 1512 and destroyed 250 years later during the French Revolution. There are various legends that add to the mystery of this mound. There is supposed to have been a Medieval castle on the site that sheltered a young girl who disappeared in the company of a Count of Champagne. The following year a dragon was turned out of the castle. Vanquished, it threw itself into the Trou de Chirac.  where you can find a stone engraved in memory of the young girl: ‘As you pass by, say a prayer for poor Clothilde.’

In the area known as Montchaud, on the other side of the D660, a war memorial pays homage to the members of the resistance who were shot in these woods during the Second World War, especially on 8 June 1944 when the area was liberated.

In the middle of Montgueux several roads lead to the church of l’Exaltation de la Sainte-Croix, which dates from the 16th century. It was added to the supplementary list of historic monuments in 1938 and its 16th-century stained-glass windows have been classified as historic monuments since 1913. The church has a rectangular design without transepts, and its distinctive structure can be seen in the design of the vaults. The combination of ogive, ridge, and lierne ribs create a total of five different types of vaulting in Montgueux church. The church has a variety of furnishings, some items of which are classified as historic monuments. These include a bronze bell dating from 1583, and two 16th-century limestone sculptures - one depicting Saint Roch and the other Sainte Barbe. There is also a celebrant’s chair with its two accompanying stools dating from the 19th century. Their white upholstery with delicate flowers is probably original.  

Commune Website

Payns

This commune covers an area of 17km² and has around 1320 inhabitants who are known as ‘Payntiers’. It is located 15km north of Troyes. Reached via the D20, D165, D442 or the D619, it is 15 minutes from junction 22 (Charmont-sous-Barbuise) of the A26 between Calais and Troyes.

Paynes holds two flowers from the Villes et Villages Fleuris organisation. The commune has a nursery school and a primary school. It is surrounded by fields, woods and the Seine, which adds to the rural character that surrounds the legends associated with the village.

Hugues de Payns, a knight who lived in the late 11th and early 12th centuries, dying in 1136 or 1137, took part in the Council of Troyes and founded Order of the Knights Templar. The first Master of the Temple, he set up a Commandery in Payns. It has now disappeared, but traces can still be seen as certain times of the year. The Musée des Tempeliers has made a model to help visitors visualise the building and revive local interest in the Knights Templar.

The church of the Assomption-de-la-Vierge is located on the edge of the village on the main road from Troyes. It is a striking example of a 19th-century building based on the architectural styles of the past. The nave, transepts and bell tower are designed to point upwards and recall the churches that sprang up in the gothic period. It retains two items of church furnishing that are classified as historic monuments: a Madonna and Child and a Pietà, both of which are limestone and date from the 16th century.

Payns remembers and honours those who were killed in the First and Second World Wars. On the main road, a first-world-war soldier, captured mid-movement, stands on a pedestal to commemorate the ‘children of Payns who died for France’ between 1914 and 1918.  In a small lane off the Rue des Maupas, a stone commemorates the 4 civilians who were shot on 22 August 1944.