Provins, France

General Information

Regional secretariat


Administrative status

French municipality located south-east of Paris

Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs

Registration Year


Historical function

Outstanding and authentic example of a medieval fair town

Location and site

The fortified medieval town of Provins is situated in the former territory of the powerful Counts of Champagne. It bears witness to early developments in the organization of international trading fairs and the wool industry. The urban structure of Provins, which was built specifically to host the fairs and related activities, has been well preserved.

Urban morphology

The historic fortified town of Provins is an outstanding and authentic example of a medieval fair town in the territories of the Counts of Champagne. It represents an important interchange of human values which led to the early developments of international fairs in central Europe. The institution of fairs guaranteed the protection of long-distance transport of merchandise between Europe and the Orient, 13 and led to the development of activities such as banking and exchange, tanning, dyeing and weaving of textiles, etc, through which handicrafts evolved into an industrial process. The existing medieval urban layout and houses of Provins represent an outstanding example of an architectural ensemble specifically built to fulfil such functions, including merchants’ houses, storage spaces, mills, water management systems, open spaces for treatment of textiles, farmhouses, and religious ensembles. Recognition has also been given to the town for its well preserved defence systems, built for the protection of the fairs.

Registration criteria

Criterion (ii): At the beginning of the 2nd millennium Provins was one of several towns in the territory of the Counts of Champagne that became the venues for great annual trading fairs linking northern Europe with the Mediterranean world.

Criterion (iv): Provins preserves to a high degree the architecture and urban layout that characterize these great medieval fair towns.




M. Olivier Lavenka

Maire de Provins
Mairie de Provins

Hôtel de villePlace du Général LeclercB.P. 200
Provins, Cedex, France

[email protected]