Colmar

Colmar, France is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and each street is more picturesque than the last. The narrow cobblestone streets are lined with colorful half-timbered houses and the entire city looks like a medieval dreamland. Many of the home built in France during the 12th century were built half-timbered using oak beams to support the skeleton of the building and the enclosing walls are filled with plaster or brick.    IMG_9196IMG_8798  IMG_9199We even saw a couple of homes that had numbers on each oak beam so when the owner moved he was able to take the oak with him to put on his new structure. We passed by the House of Heads which was built in 1609 and was given this name because of the 106 heads that decorate and line the façade. The city is also home to Frédéric Bartholdi, the designer of the Statue of Liberty and many of his statues are displayed in the streets of the city. There is even a smaller replica of the Statue of Liberty on the outskirts of Colmar!  IMG_8755As we passed by small store fronts, local business owners lined the streets and greeted us with samples of French macaroons and dark chocolates. IMG_9161 IMG_8778We even got to visit the smallest home in Colmar, only 12 square yards! It is the small red home nestled between the yellow and white buildings. IMG_8785We walked through an area of Colmar that is referred to as Little Venice because this part of the city is built over canals, filled with small boats and waterfront properties.  IMG_8869 IMG_8816 IMG_8875 As we admired the beautiful homes, we also noticed the cast-iron pictures that protruded from above the first level of the structures. These pictures were use to indicate what type of business resided in each building. For example, the pig represented the local butcher, tools for the craftsman and breads and baguettes for the baker. IMG_9137 IMG_9179Before we left Colmar we were able to visit a couple of Christmas markets where we got our daily cup of vin chaud, the French word for mulled wine, and try some signature French dishes.IMG_9173 IMG_9245 IMG_8804 IMG_8823We tried a French type of sausage, potatoes and macaroni and cheese and no trip to France would be complete without a croque-monsieur.IMG_8846 IMG_8870

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