Je n’ai pas encore ete partout, mais cest sur ma liste – Susan Sontag

I haven’t been everywhere yet, but it’s on my list – Susan Sontag

Is it an open-air museum or enchanted fairy tale land or a storybook toy city or a vibrant hamlet from Disneyland… it’s one size fits all! Welcome to Winsome Colmar. Let’s continue marinating ourselves in the history and charm of this peepy city.

Quartier de la Krutenau aka Petite Venise

This picturesque quarter of the Krutenau district of Colmar is named after Venice in Italy for obvious reasons. In the middle ages, Krutenau was a marshy area utilized for the production of plants to be used as food. Present-day it’s an ancient neighbourhood by the side of the Luch canal, dotted with colourful, half-timbered houses flanked by the willow trees, bustling restaurants & shops, and dainty rustic bridges. A short, pleasant ride of 20-25mins in the flat bottom, wooden boat transports you instantly to Venice! One can walk along the Rue des Tanneurs and Quai des la Poissonnerie keeping canal as a constant company to soak in all colours and flavours of Petite Venise.

Quartier des Tanneurs

It used to be the busy hub of the tanners. The white half-timbered houses with the slight openings in their terraces are hallmarks of this side of the town. The fountain at the centre is a Bartholdi (the world-famous Statue Of America creator and son of Colmar) creation and represents Lazare de Schwendi (1522-1583), a general of Charles V of the Holy Roman Emperor. Wander along the cobblestone alleys of Rue du Tanneurs and Petite Rue du Tanneurs that are brimming with activities at restaurant terraces and exquisite boutiques.

Quai de la Poisonnerie

Quai de la Poisonnerie, the lane of the fishermen is nothing but a riot of colours! Standing shoulder to shoulder, these colourful houses built in typical Alsatian style tell the stories of the wealthy, powerful fishermen community of the gone by era. I was so mesmerized by the view that I stood for a 10-15mins admiring the houses with my jaw dropped! Thankfully, no one must have noticed it courtesy of COVID related restrictions on wearing masks in public spaces, those days 😉

Le Marche Couverts

A little ahead of Quai de la Poisonnerie is Le Marche Couverts (Covered market). Inaugurated in 1865, it is nothing short of an island as it is bordered by the three streets and the river Luch. Built mostly with brick, iron, and cast iron this red-orange building tells the story of Colmar’s progressive transformation into the industrial era.

The river provided the natural means of transport for traders, gardeners, and fishermen of the city. They would load their flat bottomed wooden boats with their goods, produce and bring it to the market for selling fresh. Present-day, the market is open from Tuesday to Sunday selling the finest olive oil, locally made cheese & spices, fruits & vegetables apart from some cosy eateries.

Check the steps of the market and the flat bottom wooden tourist boat

Maison Pfister

A gem from the middle ages, Maison Pfister grabs your attention with its vantage corner position, its all-encompassing wooden gallery, and impressive Renaissance architecture on the Rue des Marchands. The window on the octagonal turret of the spiral staircase discloses its age with the year 1537AD inscribed on it. It has many biblical and secular paintings on its façade.

Right behind it is its age-old companion “Zum Kragen” It is another remarkable Renaissance architecture. Don’t forget to check out the man at the edge of the building.

Rue des Boulangers & Rue des Serruiers

A little away from Maison Pfister are Rue des Boulangers (Bakers street) and Rue des Serruriers (Locksmiths Street). They are flanked by attractive Alsatian half-timbered houses, buildings, and a number of eateries and cafes teeming with life.

La Maison des Tetes

Built in 1609, by Anton Burger, the mayor of Colmar (1626-1628), La Maison des Tetes (the house of heads), is an idiosyncratic creation. The road adjoining it also got the same name, Rue des Testes (Heads Street).

It has 106 bizarre, ludicrous human heads sculpted, engraved on its façade. A signature Bartholdi sculpture stands at the top.  Changing hands several times in its history of 400+ years, present-day it is a Michelin Star hotel.

There are other interesting places like Unterlinden Museum, Chocolate Museum, Bartholdi Museum, Hansi Museum, Toy Museum, Koifhus (Old customs house), L’elgise des Dominicans, L’Eglise Saint Mathieu, Chapelle Saint Pierre, etc that one can visit and are equally appealing. For want of time, I couldn’t visit them. That means another promise to retrace my footprints here, as and when possible. For now, let’s say goodbye to the vivacious and winsome city of Colmar!

A bientot.

This post is part of the #BlogchatterA2Z challenge2022

Click here for posts so far in the “Exploring l’Hexagone” series


A Rustic Mind · April 26, 2022 at 9:49 pm

I saw that first photo and was immediately reminded of Venice and then I read ‘named after Venice in Italy’. Chalo ab toh jaana hi padega 😛

Yamini Ali MacLean · April 26, 2022 at 11:49 pm

Hari Om
I just love all the colours which shine even under grey skies!!! YAM xx

Pradeep · April 27, 2022 at 9:28 am

Those colourful houses looks just out of this world!
W = Wardrobe

Harshita · April 27, 2022 at 9:56 am

Oh your pictures are just so alluring, that one really wants to hop on a plane and travel there.

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