Friday, November 15, 2013

Colmar, France

We arrived in the town of Colmar, France, the night of October 18th, and from the moment we entered the gates of the city, we could see that we were going to love this place.  Even my poor night photos show there is greatness to be discovered the next day!  Not many restaurants are open past nine, so after checking in to our really cute hotel (first two photos), we hurried out to find a place to eat.  We found a crowd near a restaurant around the corner and decided to step inside.  It was a very cute and cozy multilevel house turned into a restaurant.  The waitresses had to run up and down several narrow staircases to serve the guests on each floor of the building.  The menu was in French and we were not able to communicate with our hostess, so we just pointed at what seemed to be a pizza and salad to share and ended up with a delicious dinner.

Our hotel, La Maison des Tetes, is a middle-class residence dating back to 1609 and is a top tourist attraction in Colmar.  Appropriately, the name means, "house of the heads" and its location right in the center of town is wonderful.  It is decorated in a medieval renaissance style, but with modern bathrooms and facilities.  Each door is painted with a unique "Alsace" design and there is a beautiful courtyard out front.  This Alsace region of France is dotted with little wineries nestled between the Rhine river and the Vosges Mountains, and Colmar reportedly hosts fabulous Christmas markets each year.

Colmar has adopted the nick-name, "Little Venice" because of the canals through town upon which you can take a boat-ride.  You can see why the most photographed places in town are taken on bridges over the canal, although there were many equally beautiful canal scenes throughout the city.

One of the architectural centerpieces in Colmar is St. Martin's church.  This Gothic Roman Catholic church was built from 1234-1365.  The green and red tiled roof tops are really very beautiful, as is the amazing pipe organ housed inside at the end of one of the arched hallways.

Another of Colmar's claims to fame is that the designer of the statue of liberty, Auguste Bartholdi, was born here, and his childhood home now contains a small museum in his honor.  (First two pictures below.)  We found lots of little shops full of goodies, and some nice cafes and restaurants where we stopped for breakfast and lunch.  The French do know how to satisfy the palate with such lovely presentations!

Just for fun, here's a little Colmar "door" collage.


I know I took far too many pictures for anyone else to enjoy, but it seemed everywhere I looked there was another perfect photo opportunity.  It's a good thing we had to leave by three in the afternoon or Bob probably would have confiscated my camera!


Just in case you are like me and want to go back for one more visit to the absolutely charming "Little Venice", this one's for you!  

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