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Troyes France

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While Troyes does not have any champagne cellars to visit, like the more northern towns of ReimsReims and ÉpernayÉpernay, the capital of the Aube region does have half timbered medieval houses, a Gothic cathedral, other fine churches, great museums and lots of discount designer outlet stores. How many more reasons do you need to stay for a few days.

Troyes airport information http://www.troyes.cci.fr/http://www.troyes.cci.fr/

There are four particularly beautiful churches in Troyes. The 12th century Ste Madeleine has a rood screen (jubé) made of stone that was added in the 16th century to separate the priest from the congregation, and is the oldest church in Troyes. The St Pantaléon has many wonderful sculptures. St Jean au Marché is where Henry V married Catherine of France, but the church is closed for the foreseeable future. Then there is the Gothic Basilique St Urbain on place Vernier, with the Day of Judgement played out on its exterior. The Gothic Cathédrale St Pierre et Paul is the centre of the quartier de la cité, the area containing most of Troyes ' oldest buildings. The excellent Musée d'Art Moderne is housed in the bishop's palace next door, and contains some great pieces from Matisse, Degas, Gauguin, and Braque to name but a few. The old town, in between the cathedral and the station, is where the timbered buildings can be found, and also the weirdly wonderful Maison de l'Outil et de la Pensée Ouverte in the Hotel de Mauroy at 7 rue de la Trinité. Hordes of hammers and chisels are put into context to create a fascinating museum with real insights into working life from 1600 1900.

One of Troyes ' two tourist offices is at 16 bd Carnot (03 25 82 62 70) and they will be able to tell you which buses go to the shopping outlets. The gare SNCF and gare routière are just off bd Carnot to the west of town. The town centre tourist office is on rue Mignard (03 25 73 36 88). As for accommodation, there is little difference in price between the hotels near the station and those in the central old town, so take your pick. The chic Champs des Oiseaux near the cathedral at 20 rue Linard Gonthier (03 25 80 58 50) is made up of three Renaissance houses and decorated in a very contemporary style, with rooms from €85 100. During the day, the patio and sitting room are ideal spots to sample the delicious cakes at afternoon tea. Le Relais St Jean is a posh, half timbered affair at 51 rue Paillot de Montabert (03 25 73 89 90) with rooms from €55 70. Cheaper options near the station include the Splendid at 44 bd Carnot (03 25 73 08 52) where rooms cost €30 40 and have a shower and TV. Eateries abound in the centre, so try a few!