The Via Francigena runs through the hilly, wooded country of the Aube department for a distance of 80km, with alternative routes of 71km. This section is well marked.

This small departement is crossed by the Aube River, but also has sections of the Seine and many other wetlands. It has many forests and the Orient Forest National Park. However, it is counted as part of the Champagne area and from 1919 has been an official producer of Champagne wines.

History of Aube

Aube converted early to Christianity in the 3rd C, and was the seat of two famous monasteries – at Clairvaux (on the route) and at Paraclete. It’s capital, Troyes, became a wealthy medieval city situated on the old Roman road Via Agrippa, leading from Milan to Reims. It was the place where St Bernard preached the unsuccessful second crusade. Aube and Champagne became part of the French kingdom in 1361; there was an attempt to make Troyes the royal capital. It was there that Henry Vth of England was betrothed to Catherine, an event portrayed in Shakespeare’s Henry Vth. A great fire of 1524 destroyed much of the city. Aube was formally established as a department in 1790. After the battle of Waterloo in 1815, the area was occupied by Russian troops, for three years.

The area industrialised from the 19th C onwards, using water mills for making hosiery.
The department was not badly affected by the 1st or 2nd world wars, so retains many medieval buildings, including timbered buildings.

Interesting Places in Aube

Brienne le Chateau

The enormous classical chateau was once a military academy, where Napoleon once studied. It is now a museum devoted to his life.

Bar sur Aube

This beautiful town with many historic monuments is situated on the Aube river; a covered market (Saturdays), a mill and the post office as well as many other commercial buildings testify to the productivity of the place.

Abbaye de Clairvaux

The abbey, in the Ville sous la Ferte, consists of several buildings and cloisters founded by St Bernard from 1115. It once had a scriptorium which produced 1800 works; some reproductions are on exhibition and one can visit most buildings.


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