A land of nature and history
From the Troyes Plain, crossing the humid Champagne region to the plateaus, headlands, steep slopes and undulations of the Bar coast, you will find a subtle landscape, blended with different features, just like Champagne!
And like Champagne, it is fine and delicate!
A patchwork of colours, an assortment of landscapes: mixing undulating plains, meadows, orchards, and lines of hedges and trees that surround picturesque villages…
Across the Pays d’Othe, Chaourçois, Côte des Bar, and Grands Lacs… let’s follow the rhythm of this rural landscape!
Find out more … !
Continuing south of Tricasse, feast your eyes on nature, vegetation, meadows, forests… and picturesque villages.
So, wander the trails and explore the Aube off the beaten track.
Where the Aube Champagne crosses the Pays d’Othe and the Côte des Bars, the humid, chalky Champagne region provides a preserved natural environment. This is farming country is sprinkled with rustic villages and their stone-built, half-timbered houses.
A land of history and mystery…
The pretty village of Villery is thought to be the place that Clovis and his future wife Clothilde met.
And then on the hilltop, the site of Isle Aumont and its church with 3 sanctuaries is set among the oldest Christian monuments in the region: a Merovingian Abbey and almost 600 sarcophagi.
And Lirey… Saint Suaire… What a fascinating history!
Nestled right in the middle of rapeseed fields and woods, between valleys and fertile expanses reaching towards the horizon, the charming village of Lirey, between 1353 to 1418, housed the burial shroud of Christ in its St Suaire collegial church.
This mysterious object, brought there by the local Lord, Geoffroy de Charny, attracted large crowds in pilgrimage to this small Champagne region village.
And then there is also the Montaigu hill, not far from Souligny, on which a castle, owned by the Counts of Champagne, was destroyed during the Troyes Treaty in the middle of the Hundred Years’ War.
It remains a natural site with steep ascents and descents, which is a beautiful place for family hikes.
There are many pretty villages, with just a few hundred inhabitants, which seem to be an enchanted paradise.
Nestled in the middle of the bocage, you can see these villages from a distance, recognisable by their church steeples, which emerge and punctuate the horizon line.
One such village is St Jean de Bonneval and its church of St Jean Baptiste whose 19th century architecture, inspired by Romanesque basilicas, looms proudly, showing its presence in the surrounding countryside… Or that of Jeugny which is similar in style.
The Romanesque St Martin’s church in Moussey, is a listed building with a beautiful stone porch that invites you to explore…
Then there are the charming churches in Villy le Maréchal and Villy le Bois whose architecture stands tall and imposing over this chalky, woody landscape…
And we mustn’t forget the church in the village of Bouilly, under the patronage of St Laurent, with its rich sculptures: it’s one of the largest churches in the countryside around Troyes.
And what they have in common, all these churches, is that, even though they are rather modest and not at all pretentious, they all house treasures: in glass, stone and wood… fashioned by talented artisans (there were not yet artists as we know them) during the rich sixteenth century in the Champagne region.
This countryside is also part of the land’s heritage: the washing places, the mills, the crucifixes on the trails… As also are the traditions and the expertise…
So, open the doors of the Musée du Passé Simple de Crésantignes, to plunge yourself into grandmother’s attic and to touch and feel the objects that still contain her soul.
Find a taste for a past that now seems so distant!
Finally, nature is best experienced through the rhythm of a walk…
Walk to immerse yourself in the countryside, to soak it up, breath it in, and explore through a hike.
Try the Sentier des Moutons trail in Bouilly, crossing a forest and pastures, in the footsteps of the sheep…
Or take the Sentier du Loup trail in Sommeval, to explore one of the last dry grasslands in the Pays d’Othe: the Pelouse aux Orchidées, and enjoy a view over the plain before penetrating the dense forests…
All this region: grasslands, woods, secret landscapes, unique places… has this rural charm, which is so refreshing and re-energising…
This is the charm of the southern Champagne region!