Saturday, 2 July 2011

St. Quiriace Church, Provins, France

On 8th July 2010, Stage 5 of the 2010 Tour de France started at Emperney and finished at Montargis, a distance of 187.5 km, after winding its way through Provins. The stage was a flat one and was won by Mark Cavendish, a brilliant sprinter who would cover himself in glory during the 2010 Tour. Fabian Cancellara retained the overall lead.

Provins is located about 77 km south-east of Paris, and was famous in medieval times for its fairs which were held thrice a year and attracted traders from all over Europe and the East. In the 12th century Henri the Liberal, Count of Champagne decided to build a new church on the site of an existing collegiate church of the College of St. Quiriace. But this church was never completed as planned because of the high cost of constructing it to its original design.

In the 16th century it was decided to seal the unfinished nave and accept the truncated design. The upper portion of the church with the large and impressive dome was completed only in the 17th century. Soon the elite families that lived around the church came to be known as "the children of the dome".

The area around Provins is generally flat and the church is built on the highest point. St. Quiriace Church and its dome are beautifully lit up every evening and therefore visible from miles around as one approaches Provins.

As I write and post this, the 2011 Tour de France is due to start today, and yes...we do have tv coverage of the event in India. I am therefore planning to follow the race closely and sketch a memento of each day's route just as I did last year.


  1. Yay! Looking forward to the new sketches form this year!

  2. I haven't quite made up my mind, but I will probably post last year's Tour sketches first and then move on to this year's.