One of the most beautiful villages of France and the third largest of Alsace, this town is well known as the “Capital of Alsace wines” and renowned for its 1000 years of rich culture and glimpse of European history. It is situated between Basel and Strasbourg falling close to the German, French and Swiss triangle border. After an hour long train travel in the morning from Basel’s German station through the countryside picturesque, we came out of the Colmar station. The old town starts from Koifhus through Fishmonger’s district until the Saint Pierre and Turrene bridges. The best way to discover this town is strolling on foot or cycling. Walking under the clear sunny skies, we found ourselves through the Jean Rapp Park (Champ de Mars of Colmar), situated between the train station and old town. Well‑spaced with beautiful flora and fauna, this park was once a Military ground of late 18th century named after Napoleon General, which then was morphed into its present state during early 19th century. The sight of it with a bunch of kids playing around on their holiday was pleasant. The main centre-piece of attraction is the Statue of Jean Rapp surrounded with fountain and country flags fluttering in the blue sky.
Walking further 1.5 kms from the train station for about 15-20 minutes, we came across the famous church of old town, the St. Martin Church at Quais de la Poissonerie. Again, perfect timing! Just as we entered the silence and lightened candles, prayer began. Built between 13th to 14th centuries, made with pink stone, the beauty of this church lies in its Gothic architecture and specifically the silhouette of the colored tiles in the dome forming the lantern bulb. Time wasn’t enough to admire the finesse of its art as our hunger instincts were already calling in for lunch. Although we tried to find out an authentic Alsatian cuisine, most of the restaurants were shut down as it was the Easter holidays. Nonetheless, I did manage to munch on the regional delicacies, Tarte Flambée (the alsatian version of pizza or some say it’s the origin of today’s urban pizza) and Quiche Lorraine.
After munching on sumptuously, we walked on to the Turrene street towards the well‑known Little Venice of France (Petite la Venise). The name comes from the fact that the place has long canals of Lauch river, reminiscents of Venice of Italy streaking through the Fishmonger’s district. This place was known to be the community of boatmen, tanners, wine producers, and market gardeners of the village. One would be intrigued at the first glimpse of this canal with a string of tall, multi-storeyed, pastel coloured, traditional half-timbered houses clinging on its either side dating back to 14th - 17th centuries. These are said to be portraying centuries of German presence in its architecture. Flowing all over the street were vibrant and colourful decoratives of ribbons, Easter eggs, blooming flowers over the colourful window shutters, lamps, lights, and energy pouring all over. Of course, this is what is known of the Easter.