The Episcopal “Cities” and Fortresses 2. The Cities III. THE GROWTH OF THE CITIES AND ITS CONSEQUENCES
For this very reason they necessarily entered into mutual relations. Here the initiative proceeded from the more developed of these two centres: that is, from Italy. The Italian merchants visited Flanders from the beginning of the 12th century. But presently the fairs of Champagne became the point of contact, and, so to speak, the Bourse of ItaloFlemish commerce. Situated on the route which joined the South to the North, running from Lombardy by way of the Gothard Pass, the Lake of Geneva, and the Jura, they kept the merchants of the two countries in touch throughout the year. But these were merely business rendezvous, and no really important cities were founded on the sites of these fairs. Even Troies never developed into a very large city, while Lagny, Provins and Bar-sur-Aube remained places of secondary importance.