Colmar (sur-Lauch)

WWII -- Colmar Pocket Monument

Map of Colmar Pocket

Also the site of fighting in the Great War, Alsace
has been in a position of dispute
for centuries.

Colmar (veraltet auch Kolmar) ist nach Straßburg (frz. Strasbourg) und Mülhausen (frz. Mulhouse) die drittgrößte Stadt im Elsaß (französisch Alsace). Der Ort liegt in einer relativ flachen Landschaft am Fluß Lauch, etwa 20 km westlich des Rheins und ungefähr in der geographischen Mitte zwischen Basel und Straßburg. Das Gerberviertel, „le petit Venise“, wurde kürzlich erst von Grund auf restauriert, und bildet heute einen Anziehungspunkt mit außerordentlicher Ausstrahlung. Die Hauptkirche von Colmar ist das Martins-Münster, welches zwischen 1230 und 1370 in einem Übergangsstil zwischen Romanik und Gotik erbaut wurde. PicasaWeb (Alsace 2007). Colmar, on the Lauch, connects with the Rhine by a canal, which helps account for its charm as a Venice with German architecture.

Colmar is the birthplace of one who designed the item to the right, as well as, a sandstone Cat in nearby Belfort. Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, best known as the sculptor of the Statue of Liberty, also designed, inter alia, the Lion of Belfort. Bartholdi passed away October 4, 1904 in Paris. The Musée Bartholdi is housed in the very structure of his birth (August 2, 1834). Other Bartholdi sculptures include a double statue of the French military leader Marquis de Lafayette with former United States president George Washington (1873), located in the Place des États-Unis in Paris, and Lafayette Arriving in America (1875) at Union Square in New York City.

By TGV from Paris: You must use the SCNF TGF facility at Gare de l’Est; there are three Round-trips daily to Colmar; ticket prices vary by season, day and time. With the plunging dollar, the cost to go to Colmar is nearing $100 each way. Plan to purchase your tickets in person at one of the SNCF railway company’s Paris boutiques or one of the stations, not online. You need a European credit card in order to pick up tickets purchased on the SCNF Website. A farmer’s market is held on Thursday mornings around the Koïfhus Square (and fountain) and on Saturday mornings at the Place Saint Joseph. A map of the region, showing the German names, is HERE.

Do not miss this picture and the other Colmar photos linked HERE.

Thousands of pictures, well hundreds anyway, are at this site, beginning with the Colmar Link:

"Matthias Grünewald's" famous Isenheim Altarpiece is the most noteworthy of the treasures housed in the city's Musée d'Unterlinden, the largest and most visited fine arts museum in Alsace. The Altarpiece, was painted between 1510-1515 of a highly accomplished, technically sophisticated artist, one who had absorbed the advances of the Italian Renaissance, but deployed them selectively in the service of highly personal inner vision. Scholars still disagree on the actual name and biographical details of the painter. see also But this is not the only object of religious pilgrimage to be found.

Over 600 years ago, a man received a fatal wound from his scythe, this near today's Drei Ähren (französisch: Trois Épis) about 8 miles west of Colmar. In his memory, neighbors placed a crucifix on an oak tree (chêne), naming the place de l'homme mort. On the 3rd of May, 1491, Dieter Schore (Thierry Schoéré), a sturdy man with no nonsense about him, was riding past the now ancient site of the tragedy, a lady in a white robe appeared veiled. In one hand she held an icicle, in the other she had three ears of corn. The sins and vices of the people would cause terrible diseases, heavy rain and frost, if they were not renounced (with suitable penance). But, our lady said that the ears of corn were a symbol of blessing and good harvests, which God would grant through her intercession.

Schore was not of the mind to convey this tale; however, when he was obtaining grain in the local market, he could not lift it on to his horse. The sack became heavier and heavier. Schore repented of his decision. He told the village about the vision {l'apparition de la Vierge}. Local Church authorities asked the faithful to process to vieux chêne de l'homme mort. "But ... Oh ... Miracle! Just as before he could as easily lift a bag and load it down immediately on his horse. After that, amid the joy of transportation assistance, Thierry Schoéré, the messenger of the Virgin, happily went home to his native village," riding off into history if you will ....

The original holy painting of the Vierge (la sainte image), which was placed in a small wooden box beneath the famous oak, could not resist bad weather. It was replaced a few years later by a Pieta, itself a miraculous and beautiful statuette from the fifteenth century. Desecrated (saccagée) by Imperial regiments during the Thirty Years War, the simple [outdoor] chapel was rebuilt on the site of the oak, which by then had disappeared. A convent became attached to La Chapelle. So the vicissitudes of wars and revolts, the hurricane of nature and of human passions, destroyed the humble temple of faith, [at a place] where so many people still come to meditate and seek peace. Although [the place of worship was] restored, the old stones of the chapel have maintained their own high significance and, [nestled] between the magnificent peaks, where trees rustle in the wind, these stones continue to prevail in the contemplation of men. translated from

La Chapelle de Notre-Dame-des-Trois-Épis, built on the site, became a well-known place of pilgrimage in Alsace, with Colmar the gateway to the shrine. The history of the legend, once maintained at village d'Orbey in its Abbey, is today conserved at Colmar. Orbey is composed of five typical hamlets. Val d’Orbey (part of the larger Vallée de Kaysersberg) has been important since the formation of the Abbey of Pairis in the 12th Century. The local Munster cheese comes from this valley (derived from Monastere the word for monastery).

The region situated in the very heart of the Mid-Vosges mountains, around Orbey and Lapoutroie is called Pays Welche. It represents something of an exception in Alsace. The Alsatian dialect has never been used there. Only a romance dialect similar to the Belgian Walloon and French languages was spoken. The landscape of this micro-region comprises mountains and prairies, surrounded by extensive fir tree forests. Numerous milk, cheese and honey producers can still be found here, produits régionaux complementing the wine of Alsace.

Stage 13 of the 2009 Tour de France ended here. Then (Day 14) it was on to Besançon on the next day.

In the Valley just south of 
Vallée de KaysersbergColmar Le pont sur la Lauch

Vue majestueuse à Remomont -- Chodziez (Kolmar in Posen)

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