The Medieval Fairy-Tale Town of Colmar
Exploring France’s medieval fairy-tale town of Colmar immediately transports you smack dab in the middle of Europe’s middle ages.
No, seriously, you’ll feel like you’ve walked right into one of your favourite European fairy tales (Beauty and the Beast maybe?). At least that’s how exploring this stunning old town made me feel.
Colmar is such a diverse blend of architecture, art and delicious cuisine that it’s hard not to experience sensory overload. Its history and culture are so well preserved that you can’t help but to be impressed by this charming little town.
A Bit About Colmar
This delightful old town is dated right back to the middle ages and has a rich history. Influences from Sweden, Germany and of course, France have played a significant role in its unique cultural diversity.
Colmar was tossed back and forth between German and French rule until World War 2 where it finally became a permanent part of France’s north-eastern region, Alsace.
If you’re an avid wine drinker, you may know that this region of France is renowned for its Alsatian wine. As if wine isn’t a good enough reason to visit, you’ll be pleased to know that Colmar is known to be the best producer of this region’s wine.
How to Get Around
Like it was on my trip to the old city of Florence, Italy (and most old towns in Europe), cars aren’t allowed to drive through the streets. This enhances the experience as you’ll be able to observe every detail of this medieval town unbothered. You are, however, able to ride bicycles through the cobbled streets.
Old Town Treats
I’d have to say that the most enchanting part of my visit to Colmar was hands down the architecture. The unique blend of German and French styled architecture resulted in picturesque half-timber buildings. Lining every street these warm pastel coloured buildings brought the entire town to life; you can’t help but to feel enthralled.
Another significant architectural relic to look out for in Colmar is the massive Gothic Saint Martin Church.
If you (much like myself) find yourself wondering, who is Bartholdi?, the town will certainly reveal small clues. As I discovered, Bartholdi was a world-renowned sculptor from Colmar whose most prominent piece is the Statue of Liberty.
In celebration of the sculptor the town has placed a few of Bartholdi’s sculptures throughout the town. Walking around town and taking time to spot them can be a terrific way to see more of the town as well. Count them to see how many you find 😉
Indoor + Outdoor Market
A part of what makes Colmar feel like such a quaint town are the local markets. There were both indoor and outdoor markets that offered a mix of fresh local produce. Exploring the markets is a wonderful way to interact with and support friendly local vendors.
Cafes + Restaurants
One thing I’ve noticed about Europeans is their love affair with cafes. Colmar was certainly no exception. Cafes and restaurants lined the streets with furniture as visitors chatted and enjoyed the warm sunshine. Surely one of the local attractions is its own unique French cuisine.
Boat Tour Along Little Venice
Another beautiful feature of Colmar is La Petite Venise (Little Venice). As the name suggests, this area of Colmar is reminiscent of the beautiful Italian city of Venice. A picturesque canal crosses the streets of the old town giving it a sense of romance. What’s even better is taking a ride along the canal to see the quaint old buildings from this unique perspective.
Yes, as cheesy as the train tour sounds it’s actually an interesting way to learn a bit more about the town. Enjoy the ride along the cobbled streets hearing interesting historical details of the old town.
A Fairy-Tale in Real Life
A day in this stunningly beautiful and historically rich town leaves anyone awe-struck. From its wonderfully constructed architecture to the deliciousness of its cuisine you’ll be yearning to return to this real life medieval fairy-tale town.
Have you ever visited Colmar? If not, would you? Let us know in the comments!