© D. LeNevé
Finished in 1876, the Halles is the work of the municipal architect Emile Bailly, who found inspiration in the Halles that Victor Baltard had just built in Paris, combining iron, foundry work and glass. At the time it was one of the largest covered markets of its type in Paris.
The construction is typical of the 19th century, owing to its material and its sober and slender lines, with 18 iron poles supporting the huge moulded vault, made of a triple section of roof, separated by bay windows. Only the base of the building is made of stone and bears a small coloured brick wall with eight large doors. The metal frame was made by Creusot. A mezzanine was added in 1987.
During the work in the basement, the archaeological excavations on the place Saint-Remy uncovered traces of the former Collège de la Licorne. In 1617, the Troyan humanist François Pithou, adviser to the King, and his brother Pierre, donated to the city a set of buildings and their precious library for the expansion of the Collège. This Mecca for Troyan teaching since the Middle Ages, previously located in the Hôtellerie de la Licorne (between present-day rue Gambey and the canal), survived in various forms until 1854. Its half-timbered houses were demolished in 1862. The keystone of the Pithou portal can be seen at the Musée de Vauluisant.
Today, the Halles is one of the favourite meeting places for the people of Troyes. Gourmet foods and products from the Aube region can be found there, such as fruit and vegetables, tripe sausage, cheeses, Champagne, etc., including more exotic products, in a warm and friendly atmosphere that is particularly lively on the weekends.
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