Spring Break 2014 – Colmar, France

Colmar FranceThe first three nights of spring break we spent in Freiburg, Germany but we planned to spend the last night in Strasbourg, France. Somewhere in our research for the trip my husband ran across some information about Colmar, France which was quoted as “the most beautiful city in Europe.” Since Colmar is less than an hour from Freiburg and right on the way to Strasbourg we decided to stop in for a visit.
Colmar FranceWe arrived through a pretty generic (by European standards) residential neighborhood and parked in a garage at the middle of the Altstadt (old town) shopping area.  As far as I could see, this area, looked like most of the other towns we had visited to in Germany, maybe a little more French influence to the Architecture.  We walked around a bit to find the tourist information center but then decide we needed some lunch before we could start the real tour. On the way to the tourist information we passed a little restaurant called 231 East St. While passing the outdoor seating I caught a glimpse of some yummy looking pommes frites (french fries) and some sort of sandwiched wrapped in an interesting little paper wrapper. That’s what I wanted to eat, whatever it was! Turns out they were hamburgers, supposedly the finest burgers ever “le vrai goût du burger”(the true taste of burger.) Well I got my hamburger and my pommes frites and I don’t know if it was the finest burgers ever but it was pretty darn close!


Bellies full and information in hand we set off again. Chuck always heads in the direction of the nearest steeple so our first stop was to be Place des Dominicainsa a lovely church built in the 14th century, but upon arrival we found they were closed on Tuesday. Actually upon further reference to the guide-book we found that all the museums and most of the churches were closed on Tuesday. What??? For real, we showed up on the only day of the week everything is closed!

Good news though, when we arrived at Place des Dominicainsa there seemed to be an Easter market set up in the square with paper eggs hanging from the trees, all sorts of vendors selling handmade wares even a little zoo set up with farm animals. Oh and I can’t forget the food vendors selling crepes and beignets.  All was not lost!  As we walked further we found this market was set up all over the Altstadt.We walked and ate and shopped and ate some more. Yummy!

In our wandering we stumbled across Église Saint-Martin (St. Martin church) the main church and principal Gothic monument of Colmar. Low and behold, it was open! Lucky for us, we were able to tour the inside and make our “one church a day” quota.  Although we have seen many beautiful churches here in Europe I still never tire of them. They are all so beautiful in their own different ways. The sheer history  of these buildings amazes me. They are constructed more intricately than anything built today and many, like this one, over 600 years ago.

After our church visit we headed to the one place we knew for sure would not be closed, Colmar’s “Little Venice” This areas of town is a series of quaint canals lined with pastel half timber buildings. Long ago, these canals were used by butchers, fishmongers and tanners to deliver their goods. The old covered market right off the canal is still houses an impressive permanent market that offers wines, cheese, meats and even some small eateries.

These days the canals are still active but mostly with small flat bottom boats ferrying tourists. We decided tourist we would be and the whole family  got our own private boat for 24€ ($34) well worth it for the 30 minute guided tour and history of the city. It was a lovely way to spend a warm spring afternoon and the kids absolutely loved it.

Colmar FranceAnother little known fact about Colmar we caught on our way out of town.

Colmar is it is the birthplace of Frédéric Bartholdi, the man who designed the U.S. Statue of Liberty. There’s even a little museum dedicated to him (but if you arrive on Tuesday don’t expect to check it out.) Colmar even has their own little version of the Statue of Liberty, right in the middle of a traffic circle as you head North to Stasbourg.

What a great day in a beautiful city!

Good Bye Colmar, we will hopefully meet again soon!

Comments

  1. Hello Maggie, Colmar is one lovely city indeed and you were also blessed by beautiful weather! Your post made me want to visit again, maybe during one of the May celebrations? I don’t know about Germany, but in France the month of May is dotted with bank holidays (one wonders if we actually WORK ;-)). Cheers to many beautiful trips ahead!

    • There are quite a few holidays this time of year in Germany as well. We will be living in Europe for probably two more years so we are trying to take advantage of as much travel (and holidays) as possible before we leave. If you have any must visit locations I am always glad for a recommendation.
      So glad you stopped by!! See you in class.

  2. hi maggie! what a treat to discover your blog and meet you & your beautiful family! gorgeous photos and look forward to more! =)

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