A rich architectural heritage, a well-preserved old town and stunning collections of religious art bring visitors to this beautiful town in northeastern France.
With canals, medieval houses and ancient churches, Colmar's picturesque charms enthrall immediately. Behind the walls of some of the old buildings are collections of important artworks by leading figures from the town's art history. Come for art, architecture and a fabulous light show on the weekends.
Wander through the delightful medieval old town with its narrow cobbled streets lined with half-timber houses from the 15th and 16th centuries. Enjoy a coffee on a café terrace overlooking one of the canals that passes through the Little Venice neighborhood.
One of Colmar's most famous sons is Frederic Bartholdi, the sculptor who created the Statue of Liberty, a gift from France to the USA on its 100th birthday. Learn about the creation of Lady Liberty and examine many of Bartholdi's sculptures at the Bartholdi Museum. Some of his statues can also be seen around town.
Another leading artist and Colmar native was Martin Schongauer. See his beautiful 15th-century painting Madonna in the Rose Garden inside the Dominican Church. While you are in this gothic building, admire the stained glass windows that date back to the 14th century. Then go to Saint Martin Cathedral, which is home to many gothic and renaissance sculptures.
To see more religious art, visit Unterlinden Museum, a former convent that houses a wonderful collection of medieval and renaissance paintings. One of its most important works is the Isenheim Altarpiece. If there are children in your party who don’t share your fascination with religious art, treat them to a visit to the Toy Museum. The collections feature toys and games from the 19th century to the present day.
On Friday and Saturday nights, be sure to see the light show, when the buildings and canals are illuminated by different colored lights.
Colmar is situated on the far eastern corner of France, near the German border. Arrive by train from many major cities in France. Once in the town, get around on foot, ride on a gondola and take the tourist train through the streets.
Colmar is a fabulous destination for its art, canals and medieval architecture.