Day 1,620 of Traveling the World | Colmar, France | July 10, 2022

What do you get when the equation is Crowds + Charm + Attention to Detail + July + Canals + Flowers Galore + A weekend + Ancient Buildings??? The answer is – Colmar, France. This is breathtaking. It really is a wonderful find on our journey through France. We walked through the town once, for 20 minutes or so, and every time after that, we ran into the same places over and over. In other words, it is very small, tiny, cozy, and compact. But its effect is huge! It is just overwhelming.

Colmar is known for its preserved medieval Old Town and was first mentioned by Charlemagne during the Saxon Wars. It has been occupied by Sweden, the Empire of Germany, and then Nazi Germany during WWII. In 1863, the Colmar Hoard was found, a collection of precious objects hidden in a house’s walls by the Jews during the Black Death.

We greatly enjoyed seeing all of the timbered buildings, the flowers (and flowers, and flowers) everywhere, and the pretty canals that run through the town. In many ways, we were reminded of our travels through small towns in Switzerland several years ago. The food was good and the people friendly, which is all we ask of any new place we haven’t seen before. Colmar is great for a few days if you are ever in eastern France!

Except for the woman talking on her phone, and others taking photos with their phones, this could be a dark and stormy night a hundred years ago, right? But it is an afternoon in Colmar in July 2022 (although we put a filter on for the marvelous effect!).
Maison Pfister, dating to 1537. It is seemingly out of a fairy tale, as are most parts of Old Town Colmar.
Wow! Colmar works hard on its “cuteness.”
These metal signs advertising the store’s goods are everywhere in Colmar. This is the first…
…the second…
…the third…
…the fourth…
…and the fifth, although there were 30 or more that we saw!
La Maison des Tetes – the House of Heads, and you can see why! There are 106 heads carved into the facade. The mansion was built in the early 1600s for Colmar’s mayor.
This restaurant’s courtyard is set up for a comedy presentation, which they offer on weekends. We knew we wouldn’t understand any of it, even though we have been studying French for almost a year!
A pretty painted facade.
This looks like Rue de Orange!
It is neat how this is decorated only with bare branches, yet they managed to form a deer’s head in the center!
The Gothic church of St. Martin, popularly called Colmar’s cathedral, but it was only briefly their cathedral for 10 years, at the end of the French Revolution. The building dates to the 13th/14th centuries. The roof has the popular “Diamond pattern,” which we discuss below.
The church’s interior is very pretty, with soaring vaults.
A timbered building on one of the squares.
A typical scene down one of the narrow streets.
…and another, with dazzling buildings everywhere.
The Marche Couvert, the covered market.
Behind the covered market is Little Venice, canals that run through the city. Combine the canals with the ubiquitous flowers, with the timbered houses, and you almost can’t believe this is real – it is more like Disneyland, or a movie set.
More of the same!
A different part of Colmar, but the canal runs through it.
The Koifhus, Colmar’s oldest civic building, dating to 1490. It is the former customs house. The diamond pattern of varnished tiles on the roof is common in Renaissance buildings of eastern France.
A pretty building. The man in the window was making and painting small bird houses, which he sells for €10!
We stumbled upon views like this over and over again. This roof also has the diamond pattern.
Presbytery Protestant de Colmar, the residence for the town’s Protestant ministers. The next photo shows its arcade.
The covered arcade hosts restaurants and retail stores.
Musee Unterlinden, a former 13th century Dominican convent, now a museum of the area’s history. The roof has the diamond pattern!
The decorated building at the back is “At the Old Gable.” The entire Old Town is decorated like this. It is so pretty!
The large and dramatic fountain in Champ de Mars Park.
What a great building facade and decoration! The shabby chic look goes with the City’s vibe!