The picturesque town of Colmar offers an exceptional wealth of historic attractions. This charming town was an important marketplace as well as a center of art and learning in the 13th century. The town’s fascinating cultural heritage is visible in its lovely residential houses as well as in the Catholic, Protestant, and Dominican houses of worship. Colmar has remained relatively unchanged over the centuries, and wandering the ancient quarters takes visitors on a pleasant journey back in time. Here are the top 6 things to do in Colmar, France:
- Old Town & Place de la Cathédrale – Colmar’s old quarter is as complete as it is lovely, with street after street of corbelled wooden houses and sophisticated renaissance palaces decorated with flowers. Colmar’s history is so rich and complex that a guided tour is the only answer if you want to fully understand everything you see.The city even organises guided walks to help you identify the meaning of all the coats of arms on display.
- Maison Pfister – It was constructed for the wealthy hatter Ludwig Schurer in 1537 and is implausibly cute and grand at the same time.
- Musée d’Unterlinden – A beautiful 13th-century Dominican convent is the location for one of France’s best regional museums. Here you can uncover seven millennia of history and savour the artistic wealth of the Rhineland’s late- gothic and renaissance era.
- Musée Bartholdi – The 19th-centuru sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi was the man who gave the world the Statue of Liberty and also designed two of France’s emblems, the monumental Lion of Belfort and the statue of Vercongetorix in Clermont-Ferrand.
- Schwendi Fountain – Behind the Koïfhus on Place de l’Ancienne-Douane is one of Colmar’s monuments designed and crafted by Bartholdi.It depicts the Austrian Holy Roman Empire commander Lazarus von Schwendi, who held sway in the 16th century from the Château du Hohlandsbourg a few kilometres west of the city.
- Little Venice – South of the centre, where the Lauch River diverges from its canal, is a picturesque little quarter in which tanners, winemakers and fishmongers used to make their homes by the water. The river is crossed by two charming bridges, on which you can look across to the rows of half-timbered houses opposite Colmar’s old covered market.