Provins (French pronunciation: ​[pʁo.vɛ̃]) is a commune in the Seine-et-Marne department in the Île-de-France region in north-central France.

The historic center of the lower town seen from the Caesar tower.
The historic center of the lower town seen from the Caesar tower.
Coat of arms of Provins
Coat of arms
Location of Provins
Provins is located in France
Provins is located in Île-de-France (region)
Coordinates: 48°33′37″N 3°17′56″E / 48.5604°N 3.299°E / 48.5604; 3.299Coordinates: 48°33′37″N 3°17′56″E / 48.5604°N 3.299°E / 48.5604; 3.299
 • Mayor (2017–2020) Olivier Lavenka
14.72 km2 (5.68 sq mi)
 • Density800/km2 (2,100/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
77379 /77160
Elevation86–168 m (282–551 ft)
(avg. 91 m or 299 ft);
Official nameProvins, Town of Medieval Fairs
CriteriaCultural: (ii)(iv)
Inscription2001 (25th session)
Area108 ha (0.42 sq mi)
Buffer zone1,365 ha (5.27 sq mi)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Provins, a town of medieval fairs, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001.


Provins is not the largest city in the arrondissement, but it is the seat. The largest town is Montereau-Fault-Yonne.

The arrondissement has 7 cantons, 125 communes and 112,020 residents. The canton of Provins has 15 communes and 21,000 residents.


There are signs of human occupation in the area as early as the paleolithic era.

Roman EraEdit

Provins was at the crossroads of two major regional corridors in Roman Gaul: one from Soissons to Troyes and one towards Sens in the south.[2] The upper part of the town was fortified by the Romans. Clovis, the first king of the Franks, seized the Roman fortifications in 485 after his victory at Soissons.

Medieval EraEdit

As proof of its growing importance, by the 9th century, Provins was minting its own coin, the “denier provinois,” and Charlemagne had sent his missi dominici to the town. Under the protection of the Counts of Champagne, it hosted one of the largest Champagne fairs, an agricultural and trade fair crucial to the medieval economy. King Philip IV visited Provins several times in the late 13th century, devastating the town with harsh taxes that ended its period of prosperity and caused residents to flee. The town was besieged numerous times and changed hands frequently in the 14th through 16th centuries. [3]

In one of the most famous events in Provins’ history, the recently crowned King Charles VII attended mass at the Collégiale Saint-Quiriace church, along with his royal court and saint Joan of Arc on August 3, 1429.

Modern EraEdit

The Germans occupied the town in 1870 during the Franco-Prussian War, and were only barely fought off in 1914 during the First World War.


City walls and towers

Provins is known for its medieval fortifications, such as the Tour César (the Caesar Tower) and well-preserved city walls.

The Saint Quiriace Collegiate Church is located here. The Empress Galla Placidia is said to have presented Ancona in Italy with the relics of Judas Cyriacus. However, the saint's head was situated at Provins, brought from Jerusalem by Henry I of Champagne, who built a church in this town to display it. It is still at the Saint Quiriace Collegiate Church, although construction work during the 12th century was never completed due to financial difficulties during the reign of Philippe le Bel. A dome was added in the 17th century, and the old families of Provins who lived in the upper town were called "Children of the Dome." After the addition of the dome, however, no further restoration efforts have been made towards the church.[4] The police station (2010) is a piece of contemporary architecture designed by Parisian architects Philippe Ameller and Jacques Dubois.

Two sets of caves underlie parts of the town. The first type were probably used to store food in the Middle Ages.[5] The second, deeper, type contains Bronze and Iron Age graffiti.[6]


Provins has important rose cultivation. It produces all sorts of foods from roses, and its main specialties are rose petal jam, Provinois rose honey and rose candy. Provins also used to be a large producer of wine, with the medieval methods of wine making still being carried out by residents, and some vineyards are still being used to produce.


  • Public preschools (maternelles): Coudoux, Raymond Louis, Terrier Rouge, Ville Haute and Voulzie.[7]
  • Public primary schools: Coudoux, Désiré Laurent, Marais, Terrier Rouge, Ville Haute and Voulzie.[8]
  • Public junior high schools (collèges): Jules Verne, Lelorgne de Savigny, and Marie Curie.[9]
  • Public senior high schools (lycées): Thibaut de Champagne and Les Pannevelles.[10]
  • There is a private preschool through high school, Institution Sainte-Croix.[7][8][9][10]

Notable peopleEdit

Provins is the birthplace of:

Provins is the hometown of:

Twin townsEdit

Provins is twinned with:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Populations légales 2017". INSEE. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  2. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ Opoix, Christophe. Histoire et description de Provins.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Provins in the dark". Retrieved 8 April 2013.
  6. ^ Digest, The Reader's (1978). The world's last mysteries. Montréal: Reader's Digest. p. 303. ISBN 089577044X.
  7. ^ a b les écoles maternelles. Provins. Retrieved on March 12, 2018.
  8. ^ a b les écoles primaires." Provins. Retrieved on March 12, 2018.
  9. ^ a b les collèges." Provins. Retrieved on March 12, 2018.
  10. ^ a b les lycées." Provins. Retrieved on March 12, 2018.

External linksEdit