Colmar and Kaysersberg in Alsace

riverside-houses-christmas-kaysersberg-alsace-france

After spending a day at Strasbourg, we decided to step out to explore the region, visiting the beautiful towns of Colmar and Kaysersberg. Getting to Colmar was easy, as there were frequent trains and it was only a short half-hour journey from Strasbourg. There, we found out that Kaysersberg was a short bus ride away, and we decided to visit the little village first before really coming back to see Colmar.alsace_map

The stretch you see colored in green (map on the right) is the Alsatian wine route, and even though it was late December, the French/German countryside here was utterly gorgeous to soak in. Kaysersberg (or “Mountain of the Emperor“) is this little village of less than 3,000 inhabitants that was, as you may guess from the name, a part of Germany right up until WW-I. It is particularly famous for the quality of its wines and for its renaissance architecture. We spent a few hours strolling the streets (yes, and you’ll be done by then!- it is that small) and then took the bus back to Colmar.

Colmar is known as the capital of Alsatian wine, and is a must-visit if you’re planning for a weekend in the Strasbourg area. When we reached the train station at Colmar, we wandered about aimlessly for a bit, as no one had mentioned the ‘walk’ from there to the old town. Yes, it was quite a walk – a good 15+ minutes-  and the blasé environs along the approach didn’t quite make up for it :-)

But once you reach the center of the town – oh, what a gorgeous town it is indeed, and it was still more charming with all the Christmas decorations up. The town largely survived the destructive energy of the French Revolution and the first and second world wars, and for that, we were grateful.

Strangely enough, Colmar is connected to America in more ways than one

  • the sculptor who designed the Statue of Liberty was born here, and even has a museum.

But it wasn’t just Bartholdi’s works which make Colmar stand out, there is also an intricate and well-preserved 16th century house which is a jewel of renaissance architecture – the Pfister house (Maison Pfister). You’ll see it in the pictures below. We found Colmar to be a lot more laid-back than Strasbourg, and we heard even less English ‘in the air’ than we did earlier.

Visiting Colmar | Practical tips –  the most current info is likely to be on wikitravel and tripadvisor.

Tips on driving through the Alsace wine route

A few memories of our trip:

Scene at Kaysersberg

How much more story-book can it possibly get? scene from Kaysersberg

Alsatian countryside - near Kaysersberg

Alsatian countryside – near Kaysersberg

The charming blue houses of Kaysersberg

The charming blue houses of Kaysersberg

At a street corner in Kaysersberg

At a street corner in Kaysersberg

A street in Kaysersberg, the day before Christmas

A street in Kaysersberg, the day before Christmas

Medieval Kaysersberg - in black and white

Medieval Kaysersberg – in black and white

A passageway in Kaysersberg

A passageway in Kaysersberg

Scene at Kaysersberg (Uday Arya)

Scene at Kaysersberg

 

And now, on to Colmar!

Colmar - Second largest city in Alsace after Strasbourg (Uday Arya)

Colmar – Second largest city in Alsace after Strasbourg

Atlas can't carry the earth by himself, the woman has to pitch in too (Uday Arya)

The Bartholdi museum in Colmar

The Pfister house (Maison pfister), 16th century renaissance architecture (Uday Arya)

The Pfister house (Maison pfister), 16th century renaissance architecture

An ornate balcony in Colmar - these cold parts of the country usually don't need or have one (Uday Arya)

An ornate balcony in Colmar – these cold parts of the country usually don’t need or have one

Walking through a passage-way, Colmar (Uday Arya)

Walking through a passage-way, Colmar

Newly painted old house (Uday Arya)

A newly painted old house in Colmar

A tradehouse in the distant past, the worker still stands guard (Uday Arya)

A tradehouse in the distant past, the worker still stands guard

This, friends is a public bath house in Colmar, a remnant of imperial France ! (Uday Arya)

This, friends is a public *bath house* in Colmar, a remnant of imperial France !

A little ferris wheel adds to the merry, 2 kids at a time ! (Uday Arya)

A little ferris wheel adds to the merry, 2 kids at a time !

Festive market corner in Colmar (Uday Arya)

A festive market corner in Colmar

Uday
..is a wanna-be travel-writer and photographer currently based out of New York. In 2013, received the Dilbert bravery award for attempting to put together lengthy travelogues in the age of 20-sec attention spans.
Uday
Uday