Sunday, October 16, 2011

Colmar, Alsace, France

Colmar is the third largest city in Alsace and a Jewelry box. You can see a lot of colorful very well-preserved half-timbered houses. Here "La petite Venise" with the Lauch river.

Colmar, die drittgrösste Stadt im Elsass, zeigt sich mit bunt bemalten, sehr gut erhaltenen Fachwerkhäusern von seiner besten Seite. Hier seht ihr das Schmuckkästchen, das Viertel Klein Venedig, am Fluss Lauch.

Colmar (French: Colmar, Alsatian: Colmer, German: Colmar, between 1940-1945 under Nazi rule: Kolmar) is a commune in the Haut-Rhin department in Alsace in north-eastern France. It is the capital of the department. Colmar is also the seat of the highest jurisdiction in Alsace, the appellate court. It is situated along the Alsatian Wine Route and considers itself to be the "Capital of Alsatian Wine" (capitale des vins d'Alsace). In 2006, the city of Colmar had a population of 65,713 and the metropolitan area of Colmar had a population of 120,367. Colmar is the center of the arrondissement of Colmar, which has 144,700 inhabitants in 2006.
Colmar is the home town of the painter and engraver Martin Schongauer and the sculptor Frédéric Bartholdi, who designed the Statue of Liberty. The city is renowned for its well preserved old town, its numerous architectural landmarks and its museums, among which the Unterlinden Museum.
Colmar was founded in the 9th century. This was the location where Charles the Fat held a diet in 884. Colmar was granted the status of a free imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire in 1226. During the Thirty Years' War, the city was taken by the armies of Sweden in 1632, who held it for two years. The city was conquered by France under Louis XIV in 1697.
In 1679 (Treaties of Nijmegen) Colmar was ceded to France. With the rest of Alsace, Colmar was annexed by the newly formed German Empire in 1871 as a result of the Franco-Prussian War. It returned to France after World War I, was annexed by Nazi Germany in 1940, and then reverted to French control after the battle of the "Colmar Pocket" in 1945.
The Colmar Treasure, hidden during the Black Death, was discovered here in 1863.

Colmar is 64 kilometres (40 mi) south-southwest of Strasbourg, on the Lauch River, directly to the east of the Vosges Mountains. It is connected to the Rhine by a canal.

Mostly spared by the destructions of the French Revolution and the wars of 1870-1871, 1914-1918 and 1939-1945, the cityscape of old-town Colmar is homogenous and renowned among tourists. The area crossed by canals of the river Lauch, and which formerly served as the butcher's, tanner's and fishmonger's quarter, is now called "little Venice" (la Petite Venise). Colmar's cityscape (and neighbouring Riquewihr's) served for the design of the Japanese animated film Howl's Moving Castle. (Source: Wikipedia)

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