Capital of the Alsace wines, Colmar has preserved its rich architectural heritage, as well as its picturesque character. The Unterlinden museum, dedicated to Rhenish art, is an essential place to visit in the town. Showing collections of medieval and Renaissance paintings and sculptures, this former Dominican convent also has the famous Isenheim Altarpiece by Matthias Grünewald on display.
The old districts, with their old half-timbered houses and facades decorated with old forged iron shop signs, are a real delight. One of the most popular places in Colmar is the Petite Venise district (Little Venice), that is very romantic. The beautiful half-timbered houses and colourful walls on the Poissonnerie quayside and the small flower-covered bridges spanning the Lauch river add to the charm of the place. A boat tour on the canal is also a lovely way to discover the pretty banks of the Petite Venise.
The Tanneurs (Tanners) district is very picturesque, with its tall houses and attics formerly used for drying skins. The Marchands (Traders) street is known for its beautiful residences and especially for the Pfister's house dating from 1537, decorated with an corner oriel window and a wooden gallery. It is in this street that is located Auguste Bartholdi's birth house, who is the sculptor of the Statue of Liberty in New York. This ancient residence is today home to a museum exhibiting the work of the artist.
The visit of the old town continues with the Saint-Martin collegiate church, an ancient cathedral of the 13th and 14th century; the Dominicans church of Rhenish Gothic style; the arcades house ("maison des Arcades") and the former customs ("Ancienne Douane"), Koïfhus, with its pretty, busy square featuring a fountain.
The wine fair in Colmar takes place in August and is a must. This festival features tastings, gastronomy, exhibitions and animations. The atmosphere is great! Colmar's International festival in July is a major classical music event. In winter, during the Christmas break, the old town of Colmar is very pretty with its illuminations, its decorations, and its friendly Christmas markets.