Friday, January 29, 2010

Colmar Revisited

Colmar was a home-base for our 6-country weekend tour. Utterly charming Colmar is nestled in the Alsace region of France. We visited the city last November, but the major museums were closed then due to a holiday. So we were intentional now about returning here for a redo.Colmar is a special place. It feels like walking into a huge gingerbread house village. I couldn't help retaking photos of my favorite buildings.
Best of all, unlike so many rebuilt city centers these intriguing structures are authentic. As Rick writes, Historic beauty was usually a poor excuse for being spared the ravages of World War II, but it worked for Colmar. The American and British military were careful not to bomb the half-timbered old burghers' houses, characteristic red-and green-tiled roofs, and cobbled lanes of Alsace's most beautiful city.
Doesn't this place just look like either Smurfette or a Fairy Godmother will pop out singing at any moment? It is surreal.
Street upon street, block upon block of quaint architectural jewels.
Roofing this ornate Customs House (below) is worthy of being called an artists' masterpiece. Not one tile was out of place.
The museum we returned to Colmar to see is the Unterlinden Museum. Placed in an old abbey it is a wonderful mish-mash of priceless items old and new. This photo of Kirk and Connor in the abbey cloister gets me. My precious family. Connor in her red ladybug boots. Loving on her Dad right in the middle of Europe!
Connor has gotten the hang of this art museum routine. She looks at the pieces for characters familiar and new.
We seem to always be able to find plenty Baby Jesus canvases with the three kings. Yet every artist has a different feel with their Adoration.
Even the audioguide was embraced by my little one. I am not sure there was much understanding or retention, but the curator's voice did make a helpful distraction to let us enjoy a few moments in peace.
The Isenheim Altarpiece is - just as Rick writes - devastatingly beautiful and a real centerpiece to the museum's collection.
We poked around upstairs where there was everything from coats of armor to dollhouse scenes. Every random thing that could make you go hmmmm. But downstairs was a treasure trove of modern art.
Hello Picasso!
This town is also the birthplace of Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, the sculptor of the Statue of Liberty. The Bartholdi Museum was unfortunately closed yet again. It closes up for the months of Jan and Feb. Gotta love the French way of life!
That aside, Colmar and the Unterlinden Museum were worth the second trip. I consider it one of my very favorite French towns.

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