A trip to Colmar is a trip to the villages of your childhood fairy tales. Founded in the 9th century, this town has layers of history and charm. Spared from the wars of the French Revolution and the World Wars, the architecture dates back to the 13th centuries and is a reflection of both German and French rule that controlled the Alsace Region. As you walk the city, make sure to keep an eye out for dates painted onto the side of buildings.
1. La petite Venise (Little Venice)
One of the most picturesque areas in Colmar, the canals are reminiscent of Venice, Italy. There are quaint pedestrian bridges and colorful half-timbered houses provide plenty of ambiance for the canal-side restaurants. Small boats take passengers on rides up and down the canal.
2. Fishmonger’s District
Another area with colorful houses is idyllic quarter where fishermen once lived centuries ago. At the time, professional fishermen were a powerful entity in Colmar and had a bustling business. They fished to the greatest extent possible and stored their catches in fish ponds until they were sold at market. The appeal today is the colorful half-timbered houses that make a beautiful picture.
3. Koïfhus, Ancienne Douane (Old Custom House)
This 15th century building was once the economic and political center in medieval Colmar. The ground floor was used as a warehouse for goods and a place to collect taxes on imports and exports. The first floor was the council chamber for the Décapole, the federation of imperial cities. (Look up at the windows and you can still see the coats of arms of the ten cities.)
4. Maison Adolph
Maison Adolph is the town’s oldest surviving private house. It was built in 1350 for the Adolph family.