In the afternoon there was free time or a choice of two optional excursions. Brynne and I chose the excursion to Colmar, France. Colmar is the capitale des vins d'Alsace/Capital of Alsatian Wine and is on the famous Route des Vins d'Alsace/Wine Route of the Alsace. The grape varieties of this area include Riesling, Gewürztraminer, [Tokay] Pinot Gris, Auxerrois blanc, Pinot noir, Sylvaner, Pinot blanc, Muscat, and Chasselas.
We boarded the motor coaches in Breisach, Germany, crossed the Rhein, now the Rhin (French name), into France.
We had a short walk to the vieille ville/old town. Colmar escaped much of the destruction of various wars and has a well-preserved old town.
|Half-timbered building on Place des Unterlinden|
|Place des Unterlinden|
The Musee d'Unterlinden/Unterlinden Museum was undergoing renovation.
|Unscaffolded section of|
Musee d'Unterlinden/Unterlinden Museum
Our guide, Jacques, pointed out a new next to an old building, the new selling new underwear and the old selling old underwear:
Maison des Têtes/House of Heads
(1609 German Renaissance) with 105 or 111 heads,
and a happy wine merchant on top
(sculpted by Bartholdi)
|Maison des Têtes/House of Heads|
Relief of man with cloven hoofs
|Charcuterie/delicatessen or butcher's sign|
by Jean-Jacques Waltz, known as Hansi
|Pharmacie du Cygne/Swan Pharmacy sign|
|Upper story overhang|
|Rue des Boulangers/Street of Bakers|
|Half-timbered house with numbered beams|
so that it could be relocated at will
|Our guide, Jacques, explains local delicacies|
|Deli window with|
Tarte flambée/Flammkuchen/cheese, onion, bacon, cream "pizza"
|Confiserie/Confectionary window with Easter chocolates|
|Boulangerie/bakery with Kugelhopf/Bundt cake|
|A house with a chapel in the bay window|
|Commercial Easter decorations|
|Boîte à mouches/the smallest house in Colmar|
at 25 square meters/269 square feet
|Église des Dominicains/Church of the Dominicans|
Marché de Pâques/Easter market
|Another butcher's sign by Hansi|
on a building with blue French shutters
|Sign with the symbols of Colmar|
|One more sign by Hansi, of Général Kléber|
Jean-Baptiste Kléber was a General during the French Revolution. We will hear more about him in Strasbourg.
|Mini-train for the leisurely tour|
|Collégiale Saint Martin/|
Collegiate Church of St Martin (1235)
The west portal has a relief of the Three Wise Men, who are popular in this region. The south portal has a relief depicting the story of St Nicholas.
|South portal of St Martin|
|The tile roof pattern is similar to another church,|
Collégiale Saint-Thiébaut in Thann
|St Martin has its own stork|
|Place de la Cathédrale with|
Maison Adolphe (1350/1371, German Gothic) on the right
|Maison Adolphe well|
|Ancien corps de garde/former guard house (1575 German Renaissance)|
|Musée Bartholdi/Bartholdi Museum|
| Les grands soutiens du monde/|
the great supports of the world (1902)
|Drape-maker's house with sculpture holding a rod|
(note the spiral staircase tower of Maison Pfister)
|Maison Pfister (1537 German Renaissance)|
with frescoes on Renaissance humanism
|Zum Schwan or Schongauerhaus|
where another native son of Colmar, Martin Schongauer,
artist, had his studio from 1477-1491
|Koifhaus/Ancienne Douane/Customs House (1480 German Gothic)|
|Rue des Marchands|
|Place de l'Ancienne Douane with|
(statue of Schwendi in 1898 by Bartholdi)
|Petite rue des Tanneurs/Little Street of Tanners|
|Marché couvert/covered market (1865 French Neo-Baroque).|
|Quai de la Poissonerie/fishing wharf|
|Half-timbered house plastered over|
and painted to look like stone
|La petite Venise/Little Venice, the area around the Lauch River|
|Place des 6 montagnes noires/Six Black Mountains Square|
with Fontaine/Fountain Jean Roesselmann
(sculpture by, you guessed it, Bartholdi, in 1888)
Brynne and I left our second tour group and ran-walked back to the church of the Dominicans. Despite being 15 minutes before closing, they sold us tickets, and we were able to see the retable d’Issenheim/Issenheim Altarpiece, a tryptych (c. 1515) by Mathis Gothart Nithart aka Matthias Grünewald. The altarpiece has panels that open and have paintings on both sides, so it was separated into three displays to be viewed on both sides. We noted the extreme suffering of Christ on the cross in a realistic picture of someone who was asphyxiated, and the agonizing grief of Mary. Also that the Nativity takes place in the Rhineland.
Then we looked at the painting of the "Madonna of the Rosebush" (1473) by Martin Schongauer and found the birds and the single white rose that foretells the crucifixion. After a glimpse at the Altarpiece of the Dominicans (c. 1480), we hurried to the meeting place at Place des Unterlinden.
The motor coaches returned us to Breisach and the Viking Gullveig.
Next: Colmar Pocket.