Colmar: what to see in little French Venice

Colmar. The most picturesque neighborhoods: Little Venice and Fisherman’s

What to see in Colmar in a day. Colmar travel guide. How to get to Colmar. Colmar traveler reviews, Colmar attractions.

I repent dear readers, I lied to you in every report about my trip to Alsace. I always started my walk with the phrase “the city N is the most beautiful place in Alsace”. So now it’s time to tell the truth. In fact, the first most beautiful city in Alsace is Colmar, and the most picturesque areas of Colmar are the Little Venice and the Fishermen’s Quarter, which I now propose to walk through.

My hotel was quite far from the historic center in the south of Colmar, so I approached Little Venice from the south on Rue Turenne. It is so wide and deserted that it looks more like a square.

Colmar photos. Little Venice photos.

Most of the buildings facing this street are occupied by hotels. The Hotel Turenne has hung a huge poster briefly describing Marshal Henri de La Tour d’Auvergne de Turenne after whom the street and hotel were named. The Viscount de Turenne conquered the free imperial city of Colmar for France in the 17th century, which earned him an entire street from the descendants of the conquered inhabitants. Yes, the narrative ends with the pathological phrase, “when Viscount de Turenne was torn apart by a cannonball, even his adversary (who, it would appear, had shot the viscount with a cannon) wept and made the following speech: he died today, a man who brought honor to mankind!”

What to see in Colmar. Colmar sights.

The decoration of the stores in Alsace is something incredible. Since Colmar is the most Alsatian city in Alsace, the stores are the most spectacular in the region.

On rue Turenne is the Natural History Museum, but when there’s so much beauty around, there’s no point in museums with dusty bones.

In fact, this is the beginning of Little Venice. The neighborhood has nothing to do with Venice, of course. It got its name in the romantic 19th century, when historians and local historians loved to invent all sorts of things.

In Little Venice I came across a commendable example of emigrant patriotism, a comrade from Ukraine somewhat excessively and deliberately, but still touchingly draped his house with flags. But some of our Russian emigrants, when they leave for another country, begin to criticize their homeland in every possible way.

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Looking at the view from the bridge of Saint-Pierre, it becomes clear why this quarter is called Venice, although in my opinion they have nothing in common.

This square has an interesting name, Six Black Mountain Square, what do you think?

In the center of the Square of the Six Black Mountains there is a monument to the first hero of Colmar. The first, meaning in time, the 13th century, by the way. A simple shoemaker, Johann Rosselmann, defended his city’s freedom. First, he hid in a barrel and so penetrated the walls of occupied Colmar to open the gates to the Allies. Then, during the second siege, he became the leader of the city’s militia. Like all heroes, he was eventually killed, and six hundred years later they put up a fountain with fish. The fishes were constantly being unscrewed by collectors of Bartholdi’s works or local lovers of color metal, so they have now been replaced by cheap plastic.

The monument to Rosselman was created by Bartholdi himself. You know him 100%, or rather the sculptor’s main creation, the Statue of Liberty. At the time the monument was erected, Alsace was annexed or returned (depending on one’s preference) by Germany. Bartholdi, a native of Alsace, created his Rosselman in spite of the Germans, based on the image of the former mayor of Colmar, who was a terrible Frenchman and actively fought against Germany. So witty and mean-spirited, I think it’s very French!

The lodge on the right has as many as three overhangs, each upper floor overhanging the lower floor. Usually the guides at this point lie about a city tax on the square footage of the house or something like that. But really it’s just nature’s protection here, so the wooden base of the house rots less from the rains.


As for the canonical view of Little Venice, I didn’t get it. I spent in Colmar almost three days, but the first two of them were on the road around the neighborhood, and I walked around the city only in the evening and did not shoot anything. And when I finally got out in the afternoon with my camera, the squids The people of Colmar decided to do a general cleanup of their city. All over town, summer porches were being dismantled, many half-timbered houses were enveloped in scaffolding, and most foul of all, water was being drained from all the canals to clean the channel!

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So my Little Venice will be without water, I realize it’s like a cobbler without boots, but sorry.

And there was a boat dock on the right just yesterday, and now they’re lying on the concrete bottom of the Lauch River.

Okay, it’s fine without water here, too.

What to see in Colmar in one day. Little Venice in Colmar. Colmar report. How to get to Colmar. Colmar traveler reviews, Colmar attractions.

After Little Venice, I went for a walk around the Fishermen’s Quarter.

Lest you forget where you are, every house in the neighborhood has a stuffed fish hanging on it that its owner caught.

Here I turned into a Google street view machine again, taking pictures every two meters of the street while humming a Peter Mamonov song:

– Oh, how I wish someone would put a little video camera in me.

Last year, all the Japanese were obsessed with sticks, on which hangs a phone or goupro. They walk around taking pictures of themselves in front of the city, I wonder what to do with a thousand pictures of “me in the background” afterwards.

The curtains have windows drawn on them.

A very popular theme in Alsace is a house with false architectural elements on the façade. In Colmar it is very carefully done, the optical illusion of the protruding decorative elements of the facade is complete.

The promenade of the Lauch River in the Fishermen’s Quarter is perhaps even more picturesque than in Little Venice.

I liked that Colmar is not a touristy city at all, even in such beautiful places as the Fishermen’s Quay there were almost no tourists. Perhaps it was influenced by the fact that the trip was in November, not quite the season for Alsace. I honestly expected to see crowds of Japanese, they love such towns, but apparently, beyond Rothenburg am Tauber their knowledge about half-timbered Europe does not apply, in Colmar there were very few Japanese. And it was Colmar that Miyazaki took as an example when he drew good old Europe in his famous cartoons.

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No, it’s impossible to look at it calmly.

Well, what can I say, the first impression of Colmar is a delight! Just a monstrous concentration of beauty per square meter, and I just started my walk through the city. Follow along in this story: Colmar: The district of Leathernecks and the Grands Boulevards.

Colmar: what to see in little French Venice

Colmar is a small medieval village along the Alsace Wine Route, where time seems to have stopped and where you can breathe in the air of Alsatian traditions. Colmar is a riot of wooden and colorful houses in impeccable Alsatian style, little alleys you can get lost in, flowers, and of course wonderful canals. That’s why this small village also earned the nickname “Little Venice of France” !

Colmar has been contested for centuries between France and Germany . In the Middle Ages, until 1648, it was considered a German territory, and then for more than two centuries it passed to France. It returned to Germany in 1871, then again to France in 1919, then again to Germany in 1940, and finally to France with the end of World War II .

Colmar: What to see in the little Venice of France - Photo 2

Colmar: what to see in little French Venice

See what to see in Colmar

Colmar surprises you at every turn, that’s a fact! Just wandering around the little village and observing its typical wooden houses with colored walls, known as colombages, you feel you have entered a little world parallel to ours.

These picturesque houses with sloping roofs can be found walking through the historic center, the old town, where there are also some of the most beautiful and ancient houses in the country. We refer to the Maison Pfister, decorated with inlaid and painted wooden panels and the Maison des Tetes, classified as a historic monument in 1898, a beautiful house with 106 little heads carved in its facade.

Continuing your walk, you will reach the Cathedral Church of San Martineau, one of the most famous Gothic buildings in Alsace. It was built in 1237 by the architect Wilhelm of Marburg and was completed around 1366. The cathedral square is the same square as Colmar’s market, which we advise you not to miss! This is another place worth seeing: the Maison Adolph, the oldest building in the city, built in the fourteenth century, across from the cathedral.

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Colmar: What to see in French Venice - photo 3

See what to see in Colmar

Another must-see church is the Eglise des Dominicains, a Gothic church, now deconsecrated, with its decorated and colored windows, and where Martin Schongauer created the Vierge au Buisson de Roses .

Another fabulous place not to be missed is Little Venice, located in the old neighborhood of Krutenau, which was once home to local farmers and fishermen. This is the district where you can admire the bridge of Saint-Pierre and the Poisson Street, one of the most picturesque streets of Colmar. If you want to have an unforgettable experience, you can take the opportunity to take a boat trip on the Lauch, a small river that crosses the neighborhood, for about 6 euros per person for about 20 minutes.

From Little Venice, strolling along Rue de laie you will reach the Marché Covert (indoor market), where about twenty vendors sell fresh and quality products all year round, including fruits and vegetables, meat, cured meats, cheeses, pastries, fish and other delicious local products .

Colmar: What to see in French Venice - photo 4

See what to see in Colmar

Also in this area is the old Kofhus customs house, an old building built in 1480 that was once the commercial and political center of the city. Its first floor was used for centuries as a warehouse, market and customs office, while on the top floor, the Salle de la Decapole, was the meeting place of the Alsace Decapolis, a union of 10 cities that between 1300 and 1600 economically dominated the region. Today, the Place des Arts and Crafts Market is located there.

Nearby is the tannery quarter, a small village in the countryside where the old tannery houses are located. The buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries are built on stone foundations without foundations or cellars. They are narrow, deep and tall, and their roofs have several hooks for drying hides.

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If you’re a lover of art, archaeology and museums, we recommend visiting the Unterlinden Museum, located in the former convent of 13th-century Dominican nuns in the north, where you’ll find works by Grunewald, Picasso, Renoir and Holbein, and the house-museum of Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, the creator of the Statue of Liberty in New York. Colmar has a reproduction of a statue in his honor on one of its main streets leading to Strasbourg .

Colmar: What to see in Little French Venice - Photo 5

See what to see in Colmar

When to go to Colmar

One of the most beautiful times to visit Colmar is undoubtedly around Christmas, when the little village is decked out in red and white, there are five Christmas markets, and the atmosphere is festive in every corner. The historic center is lit up and decorated with Christmas lights and all kinds of decorations, and the Alsatian style houses are the perfect garnish. The markets are open during December and consist of numerous stalls with handmade goods and local foods.

However, during the first two weeks of August the town is coloured by wine, and there is a Foire aux vins (wine fair) dedicated to the famous Alsace wines.

On the other hand, in July, one of the most beautiful and important festivals in Europe, the International Festival of Colmar, pays homage every year to a musician, an instrument, a country or a culture.

Colmar: what to see in Little French Venice - Photo 6

When to go to Colmar

How to get to Colmar

There are high-speed trains to Colmar , you can get there from Paris in about 2 and a half hours or from Milan with a connection in Zurich in about 7 hours. Another train is the TGV Rhin-Rhne, which connects it to Lyon in 3 hours and 20 minutes and to Marseille in 5 hours and 10 minutes.

Colmar can also be reached by air arriving at the small airport of Colmar-Hussen, but there are usually more offers and flights flying to Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg airport or to Strasbourg-Enzheim international airport, both about 70 km away from each other.

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