Colmar: Little Venice

Coordinates: 48°04′54″N 7°21′20″E

Upon arriving, my camera found its way towards the mustard yellow building with red and pink flowers on the balconies. Thereupon, it was as if the camera had its own life; I couldn't stop photographing. Colmar, in France, is an Eden for photographers; this is why it’s cataloged as Europe’s most beautiful city.  The charm of this place is so quaint, that when walking through its streets you imagine that you’re entering the town of Beauty and the Beast.

To add to Colmar's enchantment, the storks (accompanied by the legend, of course) are seen throughout the village. Photo: Pamy Rojas

To add to Colmar's enchantment, the storks (accompanied by the legend, of course) are seen throughout the village. Photo: Pamy Rojas

LITTLE VENICE

We visited Colmar in our trip to Switzerland. The plane made a connecting flight in Frankfurt and we decided to drive up to Zurich. During the car route, of approximately four hours, we stopped on this colorful small town with its houses painted with bright colors, a mixture of French and German styles. The channels that go across the streets, near the Lauch River, besides adding great delight, give Colmar the title of Little Venice.

The channels are used for navigation, crop irrigation, water supply, and drainage. Photo: Pamy Rojas

The channels are used for navigation, crop irrigation, water supply, and drainage. Photo: Pamy Rojas

near the Black forest

It's not surprising that this place resembles so much to fairy tales, given that the Black Forest is near Colmar. The picturesque towns and the forest have been the setting for many children stories written by the Brothers Grimm. This mountain region, located in Southwest Germany bordering France, was the inspiration for stories such as Hansel & Gretel and Rapunzel.

In addition to the colorful houses, the flowers are all over the place. Photo: Pamy Rojas

In addition to the colorful houses, the flowers are all over the place. Photo: Pamy Rojas

THe Statue of Liberty comes from colmar

Colmar, besides being a setting for children stories also housed for a time, during the mid seventeenth century, the French writer, Voltaire. This French town is also the birthplace of August Bartholdi, who was the creator of the Statue of Liberty; a museum honoring him was inaugurated in 1922.

DISTRIcT of tanners

My camera continued having a life of its own, a picture of the Place Du Marche was the next stamp captured; a group of musicians playing the cello, guitar, tambourine, trumpet, accordion, and one other rustic instrument that caught my attention. After listening for a while the melody they gave away to anyone who passed through there, we walked to the Quartier des Tanneurs; district where, during the eighteenth century, lived the leather tanners. The narrow and tall houses of this enclosure are distinguished for having various open terraces in different levels, so that the tanners could dry off the leathers.

The typical houses of the Quartier des Tanneurs where the tanners lived and worked. Photo: Pamy Rojas

The typical houses of the Quartier des Tanneurs where the tanners lived and worked. Photo: Pamy Rojas

House with heads

From there we went to the Bartholdi Museum, which keeps models and designs from the artist. Near the museum, we walked to the church of San Martin. I was astonished by the majestic size of the huge church, a beautiful example of gothic architecture; I entered to light a candle as an offering. Upon exiting we went to the peculiar Maison des Tetes (house of heads); it is literally adorned with heads that protrude from the structure. 

The House of Heads is characterized by the portraits that give this mansion its name. Photo: Pamy Rojas

The House of Heads is characterized by the portraits that give this mansion its name. Photo: Pamy Rojas

PINOT GRIS to end the travel

This city is one of the driest in all of France, which makes it ideal for the production of the famous wine from the Alsace region. Obviously, before leaving Colmar we stopped at the restaurant Le Stam, near the Quartier des Dominicains, to enjoy some glasses of wine. My restless camera went back to the bag, so that I could enrapture calmly with a delicious pinot gris.

The channels appeared anywhere, colorful flowers, beautiful houses, and their reflection in the water.  Photo: Pamy Rojas

The channels appeared anywhere, colorful flowers, beautiful houses, and their reflection in the water.  Photo: Pamy Rojas


Counscious travel practices:

1. Recognize the importance of the conservation and right use of water.

2. Learn about the history and culture of the place.

3. Enjoy the places without throwing trash.

4. Collaborate with the local businesses and peddlers.

5. Support the street artists.


A street artist imitates a mime and for a few euros she lets you take one picture, just one. Photo: Pamy Rojas

A street artist imitates a mime and for a few euros she lets you take one picture, just one. Photo: Pamy Rojas

Places of interest:

Bartholdi Museum

San Martin’s Church

Maison des Tetes

Place de la Cathédrale

Quartier des Dominicains

Quartier des Tanneurs


Dry fruits in the store Le comptoir du fruit. Photo: Pamy Rojas

Dry fruits in the store Le comptoir du fruit. Photo: Pamy Rojas

GASTRONOMY:

Le comptoir du fruit

Le Stam Restaurant