Friday, May 31, 2013

Picture Tour and Map of Colmar Old Town and some Trivias

The well-preserved medieval town centre of Colmar is gorgeous! The city is dubbed as the ‘capital of Alsatian wine’ in the region. When in Alsace, I strongly believe a visit to Colmar is a must, and the only way to enjoy this lovely place is to wander off on its cobble-stone streets and appreciate its fairytale-like architecture. The old town is not so big so getting lost is not really such a bad idea. Go for it! =)

Colmar Old Town
Website: Colmar Tourism

While I was discovering Colmar on foot, I was really mesmerised by the stunning architecture and the well-looked-after picture-perfect environment. Oh wow, it felt like France and Germany just collided in front of me! Are my eyes and ears playing tricks on me? I am seeing German half-timbered framed houses but hearing French spoken on the streets. Help, where am I really? Haha.

This feeling of displacement you know was present the whole time during the extended weekend trip in Alsace last April, not just in Colmar.

As for the food here, they are a lovely mix of both French and German cuisine, as well as the wine. It’s fantastic. Some of Alsace’s dishes and pastries are named in German with some tweaking a bit in the spelling to make it French-friendly. They are not that obsessive enough to translate everything here to French. An example is the typical bundt cake of the region called ‘Kougelhopf’. While some of the local fares served and advertised at restaurants are actually German dishes as well but translated into French, such as the ‘Choucroute’ (that’s sauerkraut sounding haute cuisine).

It’s one of those few places in France where you feel you are not really in France.

Here is the Map of Colmar Old Town:

Right click on the map and open on another window and click on the map to zoom in. 

Colmar Trivias

So I have a few Colmar trivia items to share!

Trivia 1: Did you know that the Carolingian Emperor Charles the Fat held a diet here in Colmar in 884?

OK, before you start laughing, a diet is actually a political assembly, but I have no idea why he is called Charles the Fat, perhaps he is indeed fat. History lesson aside, I just thought this is so funny!

Trivia 2: Did you know that there is a treasure hidden and buried by the Jews in Colmar during the Black Death epidemic in Europe (circa 14th century)? The treasure was only discovered in 1863.

The Black Death was estimated to have caused about 30%-60% of deaths in Europe. It took a century and a half for the continent to recover its lost population. The treasure was called Colmar Treasure or Colmar Hoard. The treasure includes silver and gold coins, silver furniture and silver and gold jewellery.

Trivia 3: Did you know that Pierre Herme of the lip-smacking Pierre Herme pastries (especially his famous macarons), was born here?

Trivia 4: Did you know that Colmar has 3 Michelin-starred restaurants?

For such a small town, they have 3! Well done. All 3 restaurants have 1-star Michelin. They are JY’S, L’atelier du Peintre and Le Rendez-vous de Chasse where I had dinner on my first night.

So that’s it for Colmar folks! Bisous =)

Previous Colmar entries:

Hotel tales and the Statue of Liberty in Colmar
Colmar's picturesque 'Litte Venice' (aka Petit Venise)
Arriving in Colmar and dining at starred restaurant 'Le Rendez-vous de Chasse'
Overview and map of Alsace Wine Route Villages

Travel Period: April 2013
Destination: Colmar (Haut-Rhin – Alsace), France

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