|What to See & Do in Colmar, France|
|Ancient churches, a fine art and history museum, the birthplace of Bartholdi, sculptor of the Statue of Liberty...but mostly just the wandering medieval streets of Colmar, left from another era centuries ago....|
Colmar's winding medieval streets will fascinate you for hours, with their half-timbered houses over 500+ years old.
Among the winding streets are numerous points of interest:
Cathédrale de Colmar
Smaller and simpler than Strasbourg's great Cathédrale de Notre-Dame de Strasbourg, it is nonetheless worthy of a visit. In bright sunlight its golden stone glows as though alive. Admire the stained glass windows and, outside, look for the storks' nest on a platform on the rooftop at the back of the church.
Église des Dominicains
Quite near the cathedral, and large but mostly plain inside, the Église des Dominicains, under construction from 1289 to 1364, is now principally the place where you can view the medieval masterpiece The Virgin in the Rosebush (La Vierge au buisson de roses) by Martin Schongauer (1450-1491), displayed in an elaborate gilded 19th-century frame.
You pay a small fee to enter the church, which closes for several hours at mid-day. No photography is allowed.
The simple, lofty church is peaceful, its narrow but long 14th-century stained glass windows quite beautiful.
Housed in a former convent built by the Dominican friars between 1269 and 1289, the Unterlinden has, since the mid-1800s, been the home of Colmar's principal art and history museum. Its collection includes the late-medieval Issenheim retable of Matthias Grünewald, and a statue of painter Martin Shongauer (1450-1491) executed by F Auguste Bartholdi in 1860.
Maison des Têtes
What can it be, a "House of Heads?" Walk along Colmar's rue des Têtes and you'll recognize it at once: the ornate house, now a hotel and restaurant, decorated with whimsical carved heads
Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi (1834–1904), sculptor of the Statue of Liberty, was born in Colmar. His birthplace is now the Musée Bartholdi, preserving copies of his work, photos, and personal belongings.
This Renaissance gem of a town mansion was built in 1537 for Ludwig Scherer, though it is currently named for François-Xavier Pfister, who acquired it in 1841.
Alsace Wine Villages
Eguisheim is something out of a storybook: a medieval village so well preserved you get the scent of centuries. And the wine is good too! More...
A wine-making town at the foot of the Vosges mountains, with a ruined medieval castle on the summit above: Ribeauvillé is as romantic as Alsatian towns get. More...