Between 15 and 20 km from Troyes
This commune covers an area of 15km² and has 700 inhabitants who are known as ‘Mergeotins’. It is located about twenty minutes north of Troyes. Reached via the D78, it is about 10 minutes from junction 22 (Charmont-sous-Barbuise) of the A26 between Calais and Troyes.
Mergey is between the woods through which the river Melda flows and open fields. Alongside the river you can still see a wash house. It has a primary and nursery school and offers a country lifestyle with a mix of rural cottages, farmhouses and modern homes.
The church of Saint-Sulpice-et-Saint-Julien stands alongside the D78, surrounded by its churchyard. Listed in the supplementary list of historic monuments in 1951, its 13th-century nave was destroyed by bombing during the Second World War. Its apse and transepts date from the 16th century and still stand. The 16th-century stained-glass windows have been classified as historic monuments since 1913. Some of the church furnishings are classified as historic monuments, including a 16th-century limestone reredos, which incorporates a polychrome wooden crucifix and three statuettes: a wooden St Anthony, and St Nicholas and St John in limestone. All of these works also date from the 16th century.
A few metres from the church, alongside the D78, the war memorial pays tribute to the ‘Children of Mergey who died for France’ during the First and Second World Wars. Laurel wreaths, weapons, helmets, victory palms and the croix de guerre medal are carved on a square column to symbolise this tribute.
This commune covers an area of 8km² and has 235 inhabitants who are known as ‘Villemereuillois’. It is located 15km south of Troyes. Reached via the D25 or the D123, it is 6 minutes from junction 20 (Saint-Thibault) of the A5 from Paris.
Made up of the main village and the hamlet of Bierne, Villemereuil stretches out among the gently rolling fields. In the distance on one side is the hill of Montaigu, and on the other the woodland of the Forêt d’Aumont. The rural cottages of the Auboise countryside stand alongside more recent buildings in this thriving village.
The Château de Villemereuil stands between the village and the hamlet. Dating from the 16th and 17th centuries, the façades and roofs of the main part of the château, and its two wings have been classified as historic monuments since 1971. Once a meeting place and site of aristocratic inheritances, the château today is private property.
Next to 16 Rue Fusin in the hamlet of Bierne, Villemereuil's wash house is a witness to the social history of the residents between the second half of the 19th and the first half of the 20th century. Almost buried, only the roof can be seen above the grass. But having been well restored it has become a secret corner of Villemereuil combining rural charm and memories of yesteryear.
To the west of the village, at the crossroads of the D25 and D25bis, Villemereuil's wayside cross, known as ‘La Croix Blanche’ has been classified as an historic monument since 1977. Along the D123 a plaque has been attached to the Mairie beneath a victory palm. It pays homage to those who died in both world wars.
This commune covers an area of 5.5km² and has 565 inhabitants who are known as ‘Bordemontais’. It is located 15km south of Troyes. Reached via the D66, D85 or the D444, it is 7 minutes from junction 21 (Saint-Thibault) of the A5 from Paris.
The town has two hamlets, Bray and Vireloup, which are some way apart, but are both brought under the auspices of Les Bordes-Aumont. The village is surrounded by fields, and there are facilities and amenities, including a school, village hall, tennis courts and multi sports pitch.
In this rural setting, a feature of the Bordemontais’ daily life between the second half of the 19th century and the 1950s is still visible alongside the D66. As you approach from Saint-Thibault, the wash house can be seen at the beginning of Rue du Lavoir. These buildings were designed to provide shelter and make it easier to do the laundry. Constructed of wood, one side is left open for better ventilation and to make it more practical when it was in use.
This commune covers an area of 12km² and is home to just over 460 inhabitants who are known as ‘Messoniers’. It is located 13km west of Troyes and can be reached via the D83. It is about 5 minutes from junction 20 (Torvilliers) of the A5 from Paris.
There are many associations offering various activities in the village. Stories and legends - especially local ones - are told at the “A l’aube du conte” group. Walks, creative workshops and the choir are also year-round activities. The hunting society and the firefighters’ friendly society also share their passions with the community. The commune is a few kilometres from Fontvannes and Bucey-en-Othe with which it shares a primary school and out of school club.
To the north-east of the village is the church of Saint-Pierre-ès-liens, the apse and transept of which date from the 16th century. The nave, designed in the 19th century in a 16th-century style, is a later addition to the building. Several of its furnishings are listed as historic monuments. For example, there is an 18th-19th-century painted ceramic bust of Edme François Congniassé Desjardins de Fontvannes and a very fine small carved wooden statuette of the Virgin of the Assumption that is painted and gilded. The statuette dates from the 17th century and its mount from the 19th century.
To the north-west, in the Rue du Château, the fortifications of the Château de Messon are still visible. To the south, the Demeure d’Errey with its dovecote can be found alongside the D83. To the east of the village a cast iron soldier from the first world war stands on a plinth, ready to face the enemy. This type of sculpture is modelled on the work entitled “On ne passe pas” and can be found on the First World War Memorial in several other French villages.
This commune covers an area of 13 km² and is home to just over 675 inhabitants,who are known as ‘Fontenais’. It is located 15km west of Troyes and can be reached via the D15, D33 or the D660. It is about 5 minutes from junction 20 (Torvilliers) of the A5 from Paris.
It has been awarded one flower by the Villes et Villages Fleuris organisation. The primary school and out of school club for the communes of Fontvannes, Bucey and Messon is in the village. This building opened in 2013 and has contemporary architecture that on one side looks out onto the green spaces and the footpaths along the river Vanne. The other side looks out onto the stadium and village hall. Two sports associations offer cycling and running activities in the village and surrounding areas.
The commune is located in a green valley and includes the source of the river Vanne - which gives it its name. The source of the Vanne is covered by a wash house known as the ‘lavoir-halle’. It is made of wooden beams that are reminiscent of both the market halls in the villages and the wooden houses of the city of Troyes. It has recently been restored.
The church of Saint Alban overlooks the spring and its wash house. The square in front of the church has an uninterrupted view of the hills of Pays d’Othe. Originally dating from the 16th century, the church was entirely rebuilt in 1821, but its wooden reredos depicting the last judgement - the only one of its kind in Aube - bears witness to its former life. Dating from the 16th century, it has been classified as an historic monument since 1895. Other church furnishings are classified as historic monuments, including a 19th-century ceramic bust of Edme François Congniassé Desjardins de Fontvannes and several polychrome limestone statues of saints dating from the 14th and 16th centuries.
At the edge of the village on the D15 towards Macey stands a memorial to Bernard Dulou, a member of the resistance in the second world war. A memorial to those from the commune who died for their country in the first world war is alongside the main road.
This commune covers an area of 3.5km² and has nearly 275 inhabitants who are known as ‘Villerats’. It is about 17km south-west of Troyes. Reached via the D108 or the N77, it is 14 minutes from junction 20 (Saint-Thibault) of the A5 from Paris.
At the foot of the hill of Montaigu, it benefits from its wooded valleys. The fields of the Auboise stretch out to the west. The village is dotted with rural cottages adding to the rural charm of Villery. Sports and leisure associations are run by the residents.
At the end of the 5th century, Villery was where Clovis and Clothilde first met shortly before their royal wedding.
At the crossroads of the route nationale and Rue du Haut, an obelisk surrounded by railings commemorates the ‘children of Villery who died for France’ during the First World War. At the top, there is the croix de guerre medal and just below it there is the inscription ‘Pro Patria’.
This commune covers an area of 16km² and has just over 515 inhabitants who are known as ‘Laubressellois’. It is located about 12km east of Troyes. Reached via the D48 or the D186, it is 7 minutes from junction 23 (Thennelières) of the A26 between Calais and Troyes.
It has a nursery and primary school. It is one of the communes of the Forêt d’Orient Regional Nature Park. The village has beautiful stone and timber houses that are still inhabited today - immersing visitors to Laubressel in a rural scene that is a pleasure to look round.
This idylic environment was the location of a fierce battle between Napoleon's troops - led by Maréchal MacDonald and General de Rottembourg - and the Russian troops on 3 March 1814. A painting by Jean-Charles Langlois kept at the Fondation Thiers in Paris shows the violence of the battle.
The church of Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption, which can be seen in the background of the painting, witnessed this confrontation and was classified as an historic monument in 2003. Built in the 16th century, some additions were made in the years following its construction up until the 19th century when the brick porch was installed. Its 16th-century stained-glass windows are also classified as historic monuments. The many protruding ribs of the vaulting contribute to the structure and decoration of the church. It also counts amongst its treasures a locally-made wooden polychrome sculpture that is classified as an historic monument. Saint George and the Dragon dates from 1470-1480 and shows Champenois skill combined with important Christian iconography. 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.
A few metres from the church stands an obelisk decorated with a palm in memory of those who died in the First World War.
This commune covers an area of 3.3km² and has nearly 180 inhabitants who are known as ‘Villats’. It is located 16.5km south of Troyes. Reached via the D25, 109 or the D123, it is 10 minutes from junction 20 (Saint-Thibault) of the A5 from Paris.
Villy-le-Maréchal is mainly farmland. The village that stands in the middle of these open fields contributes to the rural charm of the Auboise countryside with its half-timbered and brick rural houses, and preserves its farmhouses and barns.
In the middle of the village, at the fork of Grande Rue and the Rue de Payns, the church of the Nativité de la Vierge dates from the 13th century, but its apse and transepts are 16th-century and the nave was rebuilt in 1879. The 16th-century part of the building has been classified as an historic monument since 1992. Its 16th-century stained-glass windows are also classified as historic monuments as well as many of its church furnishings. To mention just a few: a gilded limestone Pietà dating from the 16th century, a 16th-century polychrome limestone statuette of Saint-Pantaléon and Saint-Nicholas, and other limestone statuettes of the same date such as those of Saint-Maur and Sainte-Savine. The memorial plaque to the priest Pierre Alexandre de Villy, dating from the 16th century is also classified as an historic monument.
In front of the church, an obelisk pays homage to those who died in the First World War. A few metres away, the Chemin du Lavoir leads to a wooden building that covers a wash tub which was the meeting point for the washer-women of Villy-le-Maréchal between the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century.
This commune covers an area of almost 19km² and has around 1100 inhabitants who are known as ‘Clériciens’. It is located 17km south-east of Troyes and can be reached via the D1, D21a or the D49. It is 8 minutes from junction 21 (Saint-Thibault) of the A5 from Paris.
Clérey has nursery and primary schools and also offers residents access to a library and sports stadium. Various associations offer sporting activities, others offer board games and organise festivals, and there is an association for the parents of pupils at Clérey’s schools. The “Les Terres Rouges” lake welcomes swimmers and water sports enthusiasts. Families and groups are welcome to spend a day here - or more if they stay at the campsite.
The church of Saint-Pierre-ès-liens dates from the 12th-13th centuries, in the very early gothic period. It was remodelled in the 17th and 19th centuries. It has been classified as an historic monument since 1926. A chapel, known as the Chapelle du Rosaire, was added at the end of the 16th century and a painted inscription gives the date as 1588. The carved wooden altar has a Flemish altarpiece. Some of its furnishings are classifed as historic monuments, notably its painted wooden ceiling depicting the heavens with angels, the four evangelists at the corners and St Dominic receiving the rosary at the centre, all of which dates from the 17th century. Other classified objects include polychrome limestone statuettes of saints dating from the 16th century, a polychrome wooden crucifix measuring 1.7m x 1.25m dating from the 16th century, and a wooden sculpture of the Madonna and Child that is nearly 1.2m tall.
The Seine passes through Clérey, and several wash-houses can still be seen dotted along its banks. They are evidence of the social history of the commune over nearly a century between 1850 and 1950. A wash house built in 1920 can still be seen between numbers 8 and 10 Rue du Lac. It was restored in 2000 to ensure the survival of the story of daily life going back at least a century. A commemorative plaque set in an architectural mount was placed on the old Mairie in 1920. It commemorates those who died for their country in the First and Second World Wars.
This commune covers an area of 23km² and has around 315 inhabitants who are known as ‘Pavillonais’. It is located 17km north-west of Troyes. Reached via the D31, D165 or the D442, it is a little over 15 minutes from junction 20 (Torvilliers) of the A5 from Paris.
The village is located in the middle of fields giving views over the Auboise countryside north of Troyes and the plains of the Champagne Crayeuse area. The village school has classes open to the school group of the communes of Dierrey-Saint-Julien, Dierrey-Saint-Pierre and Voué. Pavillon-Sainte-Julie is linked with the neighbouring communes of Villeloup and Echemines for its sports and leisure association.
The nave of the church dates from the 12th-13th centuries, whilst the rest is 16th-century - including the stained-glass windows which were classified as historic monuments in 1894. Dedicated to the Nativity of the Virgin, the church of Pavillon-Sainte-Julie houses a 16th-century Pietà that has been classified as an historic monument since 1908. Life-size, the limestone is carved with great skill to show the fluidity of the fabrics on the one hand, and the final tension in the dying Christ on the other.
A few steps from the church, a black marble plaque mounted on an obelisk carries the names of those killed in action during the First World War.
This commune covers an area of 9.6km² and has 555 inhabitants who are known as ‘Villacerons’. It is located 17km north-west of Troyes. Reached via the D78 or the D165, it is about 14km from junction 22 (Charmont-sous-Barbuise) of the A26.
Villacerf is a commune in the Champagne Crayeuse region and is surrounded by fields and woods through which several streams flow, such as the Melda. It rural location is enlivened by the village’s associations, especially the athletics club which involves Villacerons of all ages.
In the south of the village, in Rue de l’Eglise, you will find the church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste, which was classified as an historic monument in 1986. Its apse and bell tower date from the 12th century, whilst its transepts and nave go back to the 18th century. It was founded on the site of a priory established by Saint Adérald, who brought a piece of Christ’s tomb and set up a Cluniac priory in the 11th century. Before this, the village was named Samblières, but took the name Saint-Sépulcre when the relic arrived. In 1673 the village changed its name again to Villacerf. Its 16th-century stained-glass windows are classified as historic monuments as well as ten items of its furnishings. The church notably retains a reredos and tabernacle with an oil on canvas centrepiece (which is also classified) depicting a Madonna and Child with John the Baptist and St Elisabeth, all of which dates from the 17th century. Several 16th-century polychrome limestone sculptures are also classified, including a Pietà, Sainte Barbe and John the Baptist.
The renown of Villacerf continued in the 17th century with the construction of a château, which may have been built on the orders of Louis Le Vau, architect to the king. Unfortunately, it was demolished after the Revolution and only illustrations remain. The Musée Saint-Loup also houses two busts, one of Louis XIV and the other Marie-Thérèse of Austria, by François Girardon. Born in Troyes and trained in Rome, his works now adorn the gardens of Versailles, the Louvre and the Sorbonne.
Villacerf commemorates its more recent history in Rue Général Leclerc, where the First World War memorial shows a cast iron soldier wearing his helment, on a pedestal surrounded by artillery shells.
This commune covers an area of 3.8km² and has nearly 150 inhabitants who are known as ‘Roncenaysiens’. It is about 14 km south-west of Troyes. Reached via the D109 or the D190, it is 10km from junction 21 (Saint-Thibault) of the A5 from Paris.
Roncenay is a verdant village huddled around a small wood. It is surrounded by fields, and has views over the small valleys. Rural cottages made of brick or half-timbering, farmhouses and barns are dotted around the countryside of Roncenay, which has a thriving community.
Alongside the D109, a plaque on the Mairie commemorates victims of the First World War. A few metres away, the brick and stone wash house contributes to the rural charm of Roncenay and recalls the recent past of the Roncenaysiens.
This commune covers an area of 6.50km² and has around 580 inhabitants who are known as ‘Courterangeois’. It is located 17km south-east of Troyes. Reached via the D619, D123 or the D186, Courteranges is 11km from junction 21 (Saint-Thibault) of the A5 from Paris and 7km from junction 23 (Thennelières) from the A26 between Calais and Troyes. In addition, the cycle route to the lakes goes through Courteranges, making this a safe and pleasant way for cyclists to reach the village.
The nursery and primary school buildings date from 2006. It is one of the communes of the Forêt d’Orient Regional Nature Park. Residents and sporting associations benefit from its proximity to the lakes. The festivities committee organises celebrations that bring the community together for major events, whilst other associations bring people together to enjoy archery or simply for relaxation.
The Romanesque Church of the Nativité de la Vierge (10th - 12th century) no longer stands and was replaced in the 1960s by a small church with plain architecture and a bell tower. Older furnishings are preserved in this modern church, some of which are classifed as historic monuments, including a 17th-century wooden bas-relief depicting Christ, a polychrome limestone statue of John the Baptist dating from the late 16th or early 17th century and a 16th-century gilded oak crucifix.
The church is next to the War Memorial, which is in memory of those who died in the First and Second World Wars. The Gallic cockerel sits on top of the soldier's helmet on the pedestal that supports the obelisk that is typical of war memorials.
This commune covers an area of 24km² and has around 500 inhabitants who are known as ‘Cosins’. It is located 17km south-west of Troyes and can be reached via the D53 or the D34. Situated about ten kilometres from the N77 and junction 20 (Torvilliers) of the A5, it is very close to major routes from Auxerre and Paris.
The town has a primary school, and also benefits from a number of active clubs and associations. Animations Cosines organises regular events that bring the community together, and the fire-fighters’ friendly society takes part in events, and organises the midsummer bonfires for St John’s eve and a Christmas event. Along with these major events, a club for rural old people meets every Tuesday.
The church of the Assumption was built between 1750 and 1760 to replace two other churches which were built on a different site and which burnt down in 1705 and 1749. Despite its 18th-century construction, the architecture is reminiscent of the previous churches and has a ribbed vault ceiling. Nonetheless, the church shows evidence of the 18th-century craze for Graeco-Roman antiquity with the pilasters and pediments that both surround the main doorway and can be seen on the interior walls. In this way, neoclassicism is combined with religious architecture. In 1986, the church was classified as an historic monument in recognition of these precious 18th-century artistic features. About twenty objects that are preserved in Vauchassis church are classified as historic monuments, including the 18th-century red and grey marble high altar, a painted wooden panel entitled Ecce Homo from the Dutch School dating for the first quarter of the 17th century, an 18th-century oil on canvas of the Immaculate Conception after Edme Bouchardon, and a 19th-century wooden reredos.
In the middle of the village, in front of the Mairie, a first world war soldier carrying a flag stands on top of a plinth as a memorial to those killed in both world wars.
This commune covers an area of 10.5km² and has 243 inhabitants who are known as ‘Mignotins’. It is located 18km south of Troyes. Reached via the D1, D66 or the D109, it is 8km from junction 20 (Saint-Thibault) of the A5 from Paris.
Largely wooded, the commune of La-Vendue-Mignot is a good example of the landscape of the Pays d’Armance. The village stretches along the main road from the edge of the Forêt d’Aumont in the east, to the fields in the west that stretch as far as the farms that are located away from the village. The associations in the village and beyond - including those offering activities connected to its rich natural heritage, craft and sporting activities - as well as facilities offered by the Mairie, make this rural Auboise village a great place to live.
Residents of Vendue-Mignot can easily encounter wildlife including wild boar, various species of deer, hares, amphibians, many species of birds and other inhabitants of the woods when out on walks in the Forêt d’Aumont and beyond.
On the Grande Rue, a plaque on the Mairie is decorated with the Victory palm and commemorates those who died in the First World War.
This commune covers an area of 12.50km² and has just over 805 inhabitants who are known as ‘Montaulinois’. It is located about 20 minutes south-east of Troyes. Reached via the D123 or the D21, it is 7 minutes from junction 23 (Thennelières) of the A26 between Calais and Troyes and 9 minutes from junction 21 (Saint-Thibault) of the A5 from Paris.
The village of Montaulin is green and coppiced, and has a primary school that is part of the Ruvigny – Montaulin – Rouilly-Saint-Loup inter-communal group of schools. There is a small branch library in the village hall. Associations such as the festivities committee, the hunting, leisure and well-being society and the cycling club contribute to community life. The association SNPA (Sauvegarde de Notre Patrimoine Aubois) works to preserve the history of Montaulin.
Bed and breakfast accommodation is available at the Château de Montabert in Rue du Château. It was built in 1862 by Jules Savoye, on the site of the 18th-century château built by Jacques-Nicolas Paillot de Montabert, which was destroyed in a fire.
Montaulin has two churches. The church of Saint-Martin is in the middle of the village on Grande Rue. Built in the 16th century, side-aisles were added to the nave between 1879 and 1880. Some of the church furnishings are classed as historic monuments, such as an 18th-century green silk stole, an 18th-century painted and gilded oak high altar with imitation marble, and an oil on canvas from 1657. Les mystères de Rosaire has a central image depicting the virgin giving a rosary to St Dominic whilst the Christ-child in her lap gives another to Catherine of Sienna. This is surrounded by medallions inspired by some of the great painters - such as Vasari - that illustrate 15 episodes in the life of Mary and Jesus. Another oil painting dating from the 19th century shows the Adoration of the Magi, after an original by the famous Spanish painter Zurbaran. The second church, commonly known as the ‘Eglise de Daudes’ is dedicated to John the Baptist and originally dates from the 12th century. Modified in the 18th and 19th centuries, it has recently been restored, thanks to the SNPA.
In 2014-2015, Montaulin’s heritage preservation society also worked on the restoration of the communal wash house, which was abandoned in the 1960s. In front of the Mairie there is an obelisk in memory of the ‘sons of Montaulin who died for France.’
This commune covers an area of 11.6km² and has just over 310 inhabitants who are known as ‘Aubeterriens’. It is located about 20 minutes north-east of Troyes. Reached via the D677, it is 5 minutes from junction 22 (Charmont-sous-Barbuise) of the A26 between Calais and Troyes. Aubeterre is also around 30 minutes from Vatry international airport.
Aubeterre is one of the communes on the chalky soil of the Champagne Crayeuse area and suits its name, which comes from ‘Alba-Terra’, or ‘White Soil’. It has a primary school and is part of an inter-communal school group with the neighbouring villages of Montsuzain and Voué. Its flourishing community life is organised by the festivities committee, which organises festivals and games and has an ideas box on the Aubeterre website.
The church of the Purification de la Vierge dates from the 12th and 16th centuries. It was built during the two major periods of prosperity in the 12th and 16th centuries. Today, renovations are under way to strengthen the walls of the building and which will go on to clean them thoroughly. Its interior decoration is remarkable and unusual due to the figurative carvings that can be seen on the corbels. It is rare for 16th-century churches in Aube to have decoration on these projecting stones that serve to support the weight of vaulting, an arch or a column. Its 16th-century stained-glass windows are classified as historic monuments, as well as several of its furnishings such as a 14th-century painted limestone statue of Saint Evêque, a painted limestone Madonna and Child from the 16th century and a Louis XVI-style celebrant's chair from the late 18th century.
Next to the church an obelisk carries the croix de guerre medal and an olive branch carved in memory of those killed in the First World War.
This commune covers an area of 20.5km² and has 925 inhabitants who are known as ‘Macelots’. It is located 14km west of Troyes. Reached via the D15, D141 or the D660, it is 5km from junction 20 (Torvilliers) of the A5 from Paris.
In the valleys below the Pays d’Othe, Macey benefits from the green surroundings of the woods above, and the rolling fields that spread out towards the Plaine Champenois. Villes et Villages Fleuris has awarded the commune two flowers. It is part of an inter-communal school group with Montgueux and Saint-Lyé, and has different levels of classes according to pupil numbers. These three communes also share a sports club. Macey has a library that is run by volunteers. On the hills above the village the Auboise astronomical association has installed an observatory that gives perfect views of the night sky. The hillside location of Macey gives the village uninterrupted views of the city of Troyes, which are particularly attractive at night.
In the middle of the village, the main road follows the D15 and leads to the church of Saint-Martin. Its nave and porch are Romanesque, whilst the rest of the building dates from the 16th and 17th centuries. The church has 16th-century stained-glass windows that are classified as historic monuments. Part of its church furnishings are classified, including an 18th-century eagle lectern, a 1.38m tall limestone Madonna and Child dating from the 16th century (but erroneously classified as 14th-century) a 19th-century celebrant's chair and a 16th-century oil on canvas triptych fixed to three wooden panels which together are nearly 5 metres long.
Next to the church, the First World War Memorial has the victory palm and the flag carved on an obelisk.
This commune covers an area of 13km² and is home to just over 425 inhabitants who are known as ‘Bucetons’. It is located 17km west of Troyes, and can be reached via the D34 or the D15. It is about 10 kilometres from junction 20 (Torvilliers) of the A5 from Paris.
It has been awarded two flowers by the Villes et Villages Fleuris organisation. The town has an active and diverse range of voluntary organisations, including an association for the protection of local heritage (ASPBO) and an association that organises events and festivals. The Bucey football club trains regularly at the commune’s sports stadium. The fishing club and hunting society make the most of the natural environment of Bucey-en-Othe. The commune is a few kilometres from Fontvannes and Messon, with which it shares a primary school and out of school club.
Archaeological excavations have revealed that the commune has been inhabited for several thousand years. It now has numerous cultural landmarks and heritage sites. The 16th-century castle - which still has its moat, towers, main buildings and additions like the dovecote - was classified as an historic monument in 2005.
The church, which is officially dedicated to Sts Philip and Peter, but is known locally as Saint-Jacques le Majeur, dates from the 16th century. In 2013, its stained-glass windows were restored thanks to funding from the association for the preservation of local heritage (ASPBO). The 16th-century windows are classified as historic monuments, as are several 15th and 16th-century sculptures that are kept in the church.
The First World War Memorial was erected in 1921 in Rue Jean Thomas Bonnemain (on the D34) in memory of 300 soldiers from Bucey who were killed in action. The wash houses - especially the lavoir des Roises - also bear witness to the history of the commune.
This commune covers an area of 38km² and has 1905 inhabitants who are known as ‘Lusigniens’. It is located 20 minutes south-east of Troyes. Reached via the D1, D690 or the D57, it is 9 minutes from junction 23 (Thennelières) of the A26 between Calais and Troyes and about 15 min from junction 21 (Saint-Thibault) of the A5 from Paris.
Lusigny-sur-barse has nursery, primary and secondary schools as well as a public library. Sporting associations offer many activities including dance, windsurfing, archery, football, gymnastics, hunting, fishing and dog training. Leisure and cultural associations are also represented in the town and offer art, embroidery, cookery and music workshops. It is one of the communes of the Forêt d’Orient Regional Nature Park and has direct access by car or bike to the beaches of the Lac d’Orient. The Villes et Villages Fleuris organisation has awarded the commune three flowers.
Until the 1990s, it was possible to get to Lusigny-sur-barse by train, and alight at the station which can still be seen in the Rue de la Gare. This building was also used as the model for a model-train station that is still sold today.
Lusigny-sur-barse is also unusual in having a house with a wall that has bones sticking out of it. The reason for this strange phenomenon is unknown. Legend has it that the bones are those of horses that died in the 1814 battle, when Napoleon's troops opposed the Austrians and the Prussians who were trying to join forces. Others have tried to link them with customs recorded in other regions, where bones were used as tools, to hold up trellises or even to ward off bad luck. The question remains unanswered, but you can see this strange sight at the edge of the village on the main road towards Troyes.
East of Lusigny-sur-barse, you can admire a modern feature: Klaus Rinke’s Arch. L'eau, was created in 1986 and built to last using stainless steel and oak. It pays tribute to the philosopher Gaston Bachelard who was born in the region. L’eau is accompanied by three other works illustrating Bachelard's reflections on the four elements: La Terre is in Mailly-Champagne, l’Air in Langres and Le Feu in Chooz.
The First World War Memorial in the Place Maurice Jacquinot, opposite the Mairie, has a coloured statue of a soldier in uniform standing on a pedestal. At the crossroads of Rue Chantelot and Bas des Grands Champs, a memorial records the names of those who died in an ambush on 27 August 1944 during the Second World War.
The church of Saint-Martin dates from the 16th century and was extended in 1879 by two 16th-century style arches. Its tiered architecture gives height and is typical of the architecture of the early gothic period. The late 19th-century stained-glass is beautifully made and has vibrant colours. Some of the church furnishings are classified as historic monuments, including four gilded oak reliquaries dating from the late 18th and early 19th centuries, a group carved from wood in the late 16th or early 17th century showing the education of the Virgin, and an enormous 1.85m-tall statue of a Madonna and Child in polychrome and gilded limestone dating from the early 14th century.
This commune covers an area of 16.3km² and has nearly 120 inhabitants who are known as ‘Villelouptiers’. It is located 20km north-west of Troyes. Reached via the D31 or the D209, Villeloup is about 20 minutes from junction 22 (Charmont-sous-Barbuise) of the A26 and junction 20 (Torvilliers) of the A5.
Surrounded by fields, the village of Villeloup has charming rural cottages with exposed brickwork and beams. Villeloup is a thriving community in the Champagne Crayeuse region, where the peaceful setting makes it a great place to live.
In the middle of the village in Rue Sainte-Barbe, the church of the Nativité et l’Assomption de la Vierge was built in the 16th century and restored and extended in the 19th century. Its stone apse and transepts were built in the 16th century, whilst the nave was rebuilt between 1850 and 1855 in brick, which was a fashionable material in the 19th century. Its 16th-century stained-glass windows - mostly those from the choir and transepts and a few from the old nave - have been preserved and classified as historic monuments since 1908. The iconography reflects the church’s dedication, and depicts the Virgin Mary. The church houses a polychrome limestone sculpture of Sainte Barbe, daughter of a rich magistrate, who in the 3rd century tortured her and cut off her head for having converted to Christianity. The clarity of the composition, the richness of the colours, and the fineness of the carving - which can be seen in the details of her face and the lightness of her clothing - are some of the details that can be admired in this work. Classified as an historic monument in 1984, it was exhibited at the exhibition ‘Le Beau XVIe siècle: masterpieces of sculpture in Champagne’ which was held in the church of Saint-Jean-au-Marché in Troyes.
At Vaudepart, between Dierrey-Saint-Pierre and Villeloup there is a monument in memory of Lyé Baltet, who practised his family trade of nurseryman. A teacher of horticulture, he became famous in 1816 for managing to grow pine trees in the Champagne Crayeuse region - the chalky soils of which were rather hostile to vegetation before Baltet’s success.
This commune covers an area of 5.5km² and has 63 inhabitants who are known as ‘Villeboisiens’. It is located 20km south of Troyes. Reached via the D108 or the D109, it is 10km from junction 20 (Saint-Thibault) of the A5 from Paris.
Located right in the middle of the fields that stretch out into the distance, the few inhabitants of Villy-le-Bois live in old houses made of brick and half-timbering, as well as more modern houses.
This commune covers nearly 6km² and has around 350 inhabitants who are known as ‘Bonnevalois’. It is located 20km south-west of Troyes. Reached via the D25, D108 or the D123, it is 13 minutes from junction 21 (Saint-Thibault) of the A5 from Paris.
The verdant village of Saint-Jean-de-Bonneval is surrounded by the fields of the Auboise countryside. The nursery and primary school in the village is for children from Saint-Jean-de-Bonneval, Assenay and Villery. There is a thriving community in the village and people fall in love with its rural charm.
The church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste was built between 1826 and 1830 on the site of the previous church that collapsed in 1818. The 19th century often took inspiration from the past, and here it made use of the main elements of Roman basilicas. A single nave, with aisles separated from the nave by Tuscan columns, and small high windows in the upper level, help to conjure up the feel of a Roman basilica. Although the exterior appears simple and austere, the interior draws you in. Part of the church furnishings are classified as objects considered to be historic monuments, including a 16th-century polychrome gilded limestone statue of St Nicholas, and two late 16th-century or early 17th-century statues using the same techniques and depicting Sainte Syre and the Madonna and Child. Two reliquary statuettes are also part of this collection, one of John the Baptist and the other a Madonna and Child, both made of oak and polychrome imitation marble, and dating from the 18th century.
Next to the church, an obelisk surrounded by four artillery shells commemorates the victims of the First World War. An engraved plaque remembers one Bonnevalais who died in the Second World War.
To the north of the village at the crossroads of the D25 and the D108, there is a wayside cross consisting of a stepped base and a plinth with four skulls at the corners, four carved angels and a small altar resting on two pillars. This is all made of limestone and supports a cast iron cross. On the base, two angels hold a scroll whilst the other two hold the inscription IHS - Jesus Saviour of Mankind.
To the east of the village in Rue des Maugres, Saint-Jean-de-Bonneval’s brick wash house witnesses to the daily lives of the Bonnevalois between the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century.
This commune covers an area of 11.3km² and has 310 inhabitants who are known as ‘Cormostiens’. It is located about twenty kilometres south of Troyes. Reached via the D1, D44, D85 or the D185, it is 8 minutes from junction 21 (Saint-Thibault) of the A5.
Much of Cormost is covered in woods. The Forêt d’Aumont is a great asset and has an exceptional natural environment where you can enjoy a walk and unwind. The residents of the village of Cormost and the facilities provided by the council make it a great place to live.
In the middle of the village, on the D1, is the church of Saint-Joseph, which was built between 1882 and 1885. The 19th century saw the construction of a number of churches inspired by the architecture of the past, especially that of the Romanesque (10th - 12th centuries) and Gothic (12th - 16th centuries) periods. The church picks up both these strands, and this combination - which was popular between 1850 and 1880 - is most clearly evident in its tall, slender profile (Gothic) and its semi-circular arched windows (Romanesque). The use of brick, which was fashionable at the time, can also be seen in Cormost church adding a contrasting colour to the building, which only has a nave.
A few metres away, at the crossroads of the D1 and the D85, an obelisk pays tribute to Cormost's ‘Glorious Dead’ from the First World War.
This commune covers nearly 5km² and has 112 inhabitants. It is located 20km south-west of Troyes. Reached via the D25, D108, D188 or the N77, it is a little under 15 minutes from junction 21 (Saint-Thibault) of the A5 from Paris.
The village is located in the middle of wide open fields, between the Forêt d’Aumont and the wooded mound of the historic site of Montaigu. The rural half-timbered and brick built dwellings are dotted amongst the landscape which has alternating valleys and views into the distance. It benefits from the beauty of the Auboise countryside and is a thriving community.
Between 1353 and 1418, the Turin Shroud - the linen cloth on which the image of Christ was imprinted by its placement on his face after his crucifixion - was kept at Lirey. In 1356, the collegiate church of Lirey was built to house the Shroud. It was demolished at the Revolution and many of its church furnishings were moved to other places of worship and museums - such as the altars that are now preserved in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The present church is dedicated to the Annunciation of the Virgin and was built between 1870 and 1880.
At the crossroads of the D25 and the D88 to the west of the village, the half-timbered wash house can still be seen at the roadside. It was decided to construct this building in 1873 and it formed part of daily life for the inhabitants of Lirey for a little under a century.