I am going to tell you a true and unusual story!

In the center of the city was a very oldwomen’s Abbey. It was the most important of the Diocese with a prestigiousorigin: theNotre Dame aux Nonnains Abbey.

There,the abbesses were very powerful.

Thus, in the Middle Ages, when a new bishop would come to settle in his new Diocese, the custom was for him to ride a mule to the Abbey. There, he would get off his mule and offer it to his hosts.

The Abbess would then give him his crosier, his mitre and his cope.

Afterwards, during a very official ceremony, he would take an oath on the Gospels to maintain religious privileges, rights and freedoms.

The bishop would spend the night in the abbey and leave with his bed all furnished on the next day.

A procession of four lords and vassals would then carry him on their shoulders to the Cathedral where the ceremony to take over the Diocese would take place.

This rather special tradition lasted until the 17th century.

You will have to admit that in Troyes… we do things fully!

Head and feature photo: “Stained glass” © Dorothée Quennesson