Stained glass museum to open
The photogenic French city of Troyes is set to get a new attraction. This spring the capital of the Aube departement will celebrate its long history as a major centre of stained glass making. The The Cité de Vitrail will be housed in the splendidly restored 18th-century Hôtel-Dieu-le-Comte, on the Quai des Comptes de Champagne (Troyes is in the Champagne region). More than 32,000 square feet of space will be dedicated to showcasing works from the 12th to the 21st centuries. With temporary exhibitions as well as its permanent collection, workshops and shops for visitors, iIt will also highlight the creativity of local stained glass artists. Aube has also created a downloadable app with itineraries for exploring churches with the most impressive windows. Troyes, with its magnficent Cahedral of St Peter and St Paul - it contains plunder from the sacking of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade, including a casket owned by a Byzantine emperor - in any case makes an excellent short break destination. Ravaged by fire in the 16th century, it has a large number of half timbered houses built in the aftermath. You may see many of them simply by wandering the narrow streets of its old centre but itg is worth poking you head into open courtyards, were some, such as the Hotel du Lion, with its external, spiral staircase, are closeted.