For everyone who wants to leave reality for a few days and walk to the unreal world of fairy tales – Colmar France is the right place! Its unique colourfulness which dominates the old city, cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
This fairytale city is located in north-eastern France, between Basel and Strasbourg. Colmar valid for the most beautiful city in Europe, and that epithet the city got due to, among other things, its geographical position. Located close to Germany and Switzerland, between the eastern foothills of the Vosges massif and the Rhine River, the city offers its visitors an exciting overview of 1,000 years of European history.
What makes Colmar specific, are houses that are painted in various colors, which represent a mixture of French and German style. Colmar is a photographers dream and a lovely place to explore! Also, this 12 centuries old city has canals from the nearby river Lauch, which makes it even more picturesque. Thanks to its beautiful squares, fountains and canals, Colmar is also called “Little Venice”.
Interesting facts about Colmar France:
– It is one of the best preserved historical town in Eastern France
– It’s the home town of the painter and engraver Martin Schongauer, whose graphic prints can be seen in the Unterlinden Museum, and the famous sculptor Frederic Bartholdi, who designed the Statue of Liberty
– Colmar’s cityscape served for the design of the Japanese animated film Howl’s Moving Castle
– Colmar is the one of the driest cities in France, with an annual precipitation of just 607 mm (23.9”). The current climate makes this area ideal for producing widely famous Alsatian wine. Two well-known wines that comes from Alsace are Muscat (fairly sweet) and Gewürztraminer (very sweet).
Things to do in Colmar
There are many attractions that you can see in this beautiful city, and most were placed in the old town. Although this part is not small, you can get around on foot with no difficulty. This is the best way to explore it. You will be impressed with priceless wealth of cultural heritage of the city, which is extraordinary in every aspect. In the old part of the city you can see superb examples of medieval Gothic architecture, such as the St. Martin Church and Dominican Church.
Also, you can take a boat trip on the canal from Little Venice.
Although there are five museums, Unterlinden Museum is certainly most interesting. It is situated in a medieval convent near the tourist information center. This museum is annually visited by about 220,000 tourists.
The most famous work, which is kept in the museum, is a late-Gothic the retable d’Issenheim (Issenheim Altarpiece) from the 16th century, the work of Matthias Grünewald. The museum also holds other collections such as the collection of archaeological objects, prized collection of medieval stone statues, as well as works of modern art, consisting of works by Monet, Pablo Picasso, Renoir, Pablo Fernando Léger, Ott Dix, George Grosz, Pierre Soulages and much more.
Bartholdi Museum is located in the heart of the old town and dedicated to the sculptor of the Statue of Liberty. In the museum there is the most important collection of works by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, which has been preserved thanks to the legacy that the artist’s widow surrendered into the hands of the city.
If you decide to stay in this town, there are many places in the environment that are particularly interesting for tourists. The Massif des Vosges is nearby and offers a lot to nature lovers. If you cross to the German side, you can visit Freiburg and the beautiful Black Forest (Schwarzwald).
If you are a wine lover, Alsatian Vineyard Route passes through Colmar. Some of its medieval villages are justifiably popular among tourists (Riquewihr, Ribeauville, Kaysersberg), and all of them offer beautiful medieval architecture, wonderful wine, good Alsatian food and a lovely atmosphere.
How to get there
If you arrive by plane, the closest airports are Euroairport at Basel or Strasbourg. Other airports in the area are Baden Airport, Stuttgart and Zurich.
If you want to travel by train, there are frequent trains from/to Strasbourg (30min), Mulhouse (20min) and Basel (45min).
Whatever the type of transport used, you will not regret it, because the visit Colmar turns into a true pleasure. Colmar is a city that you simply must see!