Colmar
Overview
 
Colmar is a commune
Communes of France
The commune is the lowest level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are roughly equivalent to incorporated municipalities or villages in the United States or Gemeinden in Germany...

 in the Haut-Rhin
Haut-Rhin
Haut-Rhin is a département of the Alsace region of France, named after the Rhine river. Its name means Upper Rhine. Haut-Rhin is the smaller and less populated of the two departements of Alsace, although is still densely populated compared to the rest of France.-Subdivisions:The department...

 department in Alsace
Alsace
Alsace is the fifth-smallest of the 27 regions of France in land area , and the smallest in metropolitan France. It is also the seventh-most densely populated region in France and third most densely populated region in metropolitan France, with ca. 220 inhabitants per km²...

 in north-eastern France.

It is the capital of the department. Colmar is also the seat of the highest jurisdiction in Alsace, the appellate court
Appellate court
An appellate court, commonly called an appeals court or court of appeals or appeal court , is any court of law that is empowered to hear an appeal of a trial court or other lower tribunal...

.

It is situated along the Alsatian Wine Route and considers itself to be the "Capital of Alsatian Wine" (capitale des vins d'Alsace).

In 2006, the city of Colmar had a population of 65,713 and the metropolitan area of Colmar had a population of 120,367.
Encyclopedia
Colmar is a commune
Communes of France
The commune is the lowest level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are roughly equivalent to incorporated municipalities or villages in the United States or Gemeinden in Germany...

 in the Haut-Rhin
Haut-Rhin
Haut-Rhin is a département of the Alsace region of France, named after the Rhine river. Its name means Upper Rhine. Haut-Rhin is the smaller and less populated of the two departements of Alsace, although is still densely populated compared to the rest of France.-Subdivisions:The department...

 department in Alsace
Alsace
Alsace is the fifth-smallest of the 27 regions of France in land area , and the smallest in metropolitan France. It is also the seventh-most densely populated region in France and third most densely populated region in metropolitan France, with ca. 220 inhabitants per km²...

 in north-eastern France.

It is the capital of the department. Colmar is also the seat of the highest jurisdiction in Alsace, the appellate court
Appellate court
An appellate court, commonly called an appeals court or court of appeals or appeal court , is any court of law that is empowered to hear an appeal of a trial court or other lower tribunal...

.

It is situated along the Alsatian Wine Route and considers itself to be the "Capital of Alsatian Wine" (capitale des vins d'Alsace).

In 2006, the city of Colmar had a population of 65,713 and the metropolitan area of Colmar had a population of 120,367. Colmar is the center of the arrondissement of Colmar
Arrondissement of Colmar
The arrondissement of Colmar is an arrondissement of France, located in the Haut-Rhin département, in the Alsace région. It has 6 cantons and 62 communes...

, which has 144,700 inhabitants in 2006.

Colmar is the home town of the painter and engraver Martin Schongauer
Martin Schongauer
Martin Schongauer was a German engraver and painter. He was the most important German printmaker before Albrecht Dürer....

 and the sculptor Frédéric Bartholdi
Frédéric Bartholdi
Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi was a French sculptor who is best known for designing the Statue of Liberty.-Life and career:...

, who designed the Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, designed by Frédéric Bartholdi and dedicated on October 28, 1886...

. The city is renowned for its well preserved old town, its numerous architectural landmarks and its museums, among which is the Unterlinden Museum.

History

Colmar was founded in the 9th century. This was the location where Charles the Fat
Charles the Fat
Charles the Fat was the King of Alemannia from 876, King of Italy from 879, western Emperor from 881, King of East Francia from 882, and King of West Francia from 884. In 887, he was deposed in East Francia, Lotharingia, and possibly Italy, where the records are not clear...

 held a diet
Diet (assembly)
In politics, a diet is a formal deliberative assembly. The term is mainly used historically for the Imperial Diet, the general assembly of the Imperial Estates of the Holy Roman Empire, and for the legislative bodies of certain countries.-Etymology:...

 in 884. Colmar was granted the status of a free imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 in 1226. In 1575, the city adopted the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

, long after the northern neighbours of Strasbourg
Strasbourg
Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin département. The city and the region of Alsace are historically German-speaking,...

 and Sélestat
Sélestat
Sélestat is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department in Alsace in north-eastern France.In 2006, Sélestat had a total population of 19,459. The Communauté de communes de Sélestat et environs had a total population of 35,397.-Geography:...

. During the Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years' War was fought primarily in what is now Germany, and at various points involved most countries in Europe. It was one of the most destructive conflicts in European history....

, the city was taken by the armies of Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 in 1632, who held it for two years. The city was conquered by France under Louis XIV in 1673.

In 1679 (Treaties of Nijmegen
Treaties of Nijmegen
The Treaties of Peace of Nijmegen were a series of treaties signed in the Dutch city of Nijmegen between August 1678 and December 1679...

) Colmar was ceded to France. With the rest of Alsace, Colmar was annexed by the newly formed German Empire in 1871 as a result of the Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia was aided by the North German Confederation, of which it was a member, and the South German states of Baden, Württemberg and...

. It returned to France after World War I, was annexed by Nazi Germany in 1940, and then reverted to French control after the battle of the "Colmar Pocket
Colmar Pocket
The Colmar Pocket ; in Alsace, France, was the site of an operation during the Second World War, between 20 January and 9 February 1945, where the French First Army and the U.S...

" in 1945. Colmar has been continuously governed by conservative parties since 1947, the Popular Republican Movement
Popular Republican Movement
The Popular Republican Movement was a French Christian democratic party of the Fourth Republic...

 (1947–1977), the Union for French Democracy
Union for French Democracy
The Union for French Democracy was a French centrist political party. It was founded in 1978 as an electoral alliance to support President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing in order to counterbalance the Gaullist preponderance over the right. This name was chosen due to the title of Giscard d'Estaing's...

 (1977–1995) and the Union for a Popular Movement
Union for a Popular Movement
The Union for a Popular Movement is a centre-right political party in France, and one of the two major contemporary political parties in the country along with the center-left Socialist Party...

 (since 1995), and has had only three mayors during that time.

The Colmar Treasure
Colmar Treasure
The Colmar Treasure or Colmar hoard is a hoard of precious objects buried by Jews at the time of the Black Death. The Treasure was found in 1863 in the wall of a house in the medieval rue des Juifs, in Colmar, Alsace. It is believed that some of the items were sold by the discoverers before the...

, hidden during the Black Death
Black Death
The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. Of several competing theories, the dominant explanation for the Black Death is the plague theory, which attributes the outbreak to the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Thought to have...

, was discovered here in 1863.

Geography

Colmar is 64 kilometres (40 mi) south-southwest of Strasbourg
Strasbourg
Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin département. The city and the region of Alsace are historically German-speaking,...

, at 48.08°N, 7.36°E, on the Lauch River, directly to the east of the Vosges
Vosges
Vosges is a French department, named after the local mountain range. It contains the hometown of Joan of Arc, Domrémy.-History:The Vosges department is one of the original 83 departments of France, created on February 9, 1790 during the French Revolution. It was made of territories that had been...

 Mountains. It is connected to the Rhine by a canal
Canal
Canals are man-made channels for water. There are two types of canal:#Waterways: navigable transportation canals used for carrying ships and boats shipping goods and conveying people, further subdivided into two kinds:...

.

Climate

Colmar has a sunny microclimate
Microclimate
A microclimate is a local atmospheric zone where the climate differs from the surrounding area. The term may refer to areas as small as a few square feet or as large as many square miles...

 and is the second driest city in France, with an annual precipitation of just 550 mm, making it ideal for Alsace wine
Alsace wine
Alsace wine or Alsatian wine is produced in the Alsace region in France and is primarily white. These wines, which for historical reasons have a strong Germanic influence, are produced under three different Appellations d'Origine Contrôlées : Alsace AOC for white, rosé and red wines, Alsace Grand...

. It is considered the capital of the Alsatian wine region.
The dryness results from the town's location next to mountains which force clouds arriving from the west to rise, and much of their moisture to condense and fall as precipitation
Precipitation (meteorology)
In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation (also known as one of the classes of hydrometeors, which are atmospheric water phenomena is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under gravity. The main forms of precipitation...

 over the higher ground, leaving the air warmed and dried by the time it reaches Colmar.

Main sights

Mostly spared by the destructions of the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 and the wars of 1870–1871
Franco-Prussian War
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia was aided by the North German Confederation, of which it was a member, and the South German states of Baden, Württemberg and...

, 1914–1918
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 and 1939–1945
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the cityscape of old-town Colmar is homogenous and renowned among tourists. The area crossed by canals of the river Lauch, and which formerly served as the butcher's, tanner's and fishmonger's quarter, is now called "little Venice
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

" (la Petite Venise). Colmar's cityscape (and neighbouring Riquewihr
Riquewihr
Riquewihr is a commune in the Haut-Rhin department in Alsace in north-eastern France.A popular tourist attraction for its historical architecture, Riquewihr is also known for the Riesling and other great wines produced in the village...

's) served for the design of the Japanese animated film Howl's Moving Castle
Howl's Moving Castle (film)
is a 2004 Japanese animated fantasy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli and based on the novel of the same name by Diana Wynne Jones...

.

Architectural landmarks

Colmar's secular and religious architectural landmarks reflect eight centuries of Germanic and French architecture and the adaptation of their respective stylistic language to the local customs and building materials (pink and yellow Vosges
Vosges mountains
For the department of France of the same name, see Vosges.The Vosges are a range of low mountains in eastern France, near its border with Germany. They extend along the west side of the Rhine valley in a northnortheast direction, mainly from Belfort to Saverne...

 sandstone
Sandstone
Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized minerals or rock grains.Most sandstone is composed of quartz and/or feldspar because these are the most common minerals in the Earth's crust. Like sand, sandstone may be any colour, but the most common colours are tan, brown, yellow,...

, timber framing
Timber framing
Timber framing , or half-timbering, also called in North America "post-and-beam" construction, is the method of creating structures using heavy squared off and carefully fitted and joined timbers with joints secured by large wooden pegs . It is commonplace in large barns...

).

Secular buildings

  • Maison Adolph – 14th century (German Gothic
    Gothic architecture
    Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

    )
  • Koifhus, also known as Ancienne Douane – 1480 (German Gothic)
  • Maison Pfister – 1537 (German Renaissance
    Renaissance architecture
    Renaissance architecture is the architecture of the period between the early 15th and early 17th centuries in different regions of Europe, demonstrating a conscious revival and development of certain elements of ancient Greek and Roman thought and material culture. Stylistically, Renaissance...

    ).
  • Ancien Corps de garde – 1575 (German Renaissance)
  • Maison des Chevaliers de Saint-Jean – 1608 (German Renaissance)
  • Maison des Têtes – 1609 (German Renaissance)
  • Poêle des laboureurs – 1626 (German Baroque
    Baroque architecture
    Baroque architecture is a term used to describe the building style of the Baroque era, begun in late sixteenth century Italy, that took the Roman vocabulary of Renaissance architecture and used it in a new rhetorical and theatrical fashion, often to express the triumph of the Catholic Church and...

    )
  • Ancien Hôpital – 1736–1744 (French Classicism
    Classicism
    Classicism, in the arts, refers generally to a high regard for classical antiquity, as setting standards for taste which the classicists seek to emulate. The art of classicism typically seeks to be formal and restrained: of the Discobolus Sir Kenneth Clark observed, "if we object to his restraint...

    )
  • Tribunal de grande instance – 1771 (French Classicism)
  • Hôtel de ville – 1790 (French Classicism)
  • Cour d'Assises – 1840 (French Neoclassicism
    Neoclassicism
    Neoclassicism is the name given to Western movements in the decorative and visual arts, literature, theatre, music, and architecture that draw inspiration from the "classical" art and culture of Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome...

    )
  • Théâtre municipal – 1849 (French Neoclassicism)
  • Marché couvert – 1865 (French Neo-Baroque). The city's covered market, built in stone, bricks and cast iron, still serves today.
  • Préfecture – 1866 (French Neo-Baroque)
  • Water tower – 1886. Oldest still preserved water tower
    Water tower
    A water tower or elevated water tower is a large elevated drinking water storage container constructed to hold a water supply at a height sufficient to pressurize a water distribution system....

     in Alsace. Out of use since 1984.
  • Gare SNCF – 1905 (German Neo-Baroque)
  • Cour d'appel – 1906 (German Neo-Baroque)

Religious buildings

  • Église Saint-Martin
    Saint-Martin Church, Colmar
    The Église Saint-Martin is the main church and principal Gothic monument of Colmar, Haut-Rhin, France. Because of its past as a collegiate church, is also known als Collégiale Saint-Martin, and because of its large dimensions, as Cathédrale Saint-Martin, although Colmar had never been the seat of...

     – 1234–1365. The largest church of Colmar and one of the largest in Haut-Rhin. Displays some early stained glass windows, several Gothic and Renaissance sculptures and altars, a grand Baroque organ case. The choir is surrounded by an ambulatory opening on a series of Gothic chapels, a unique feature in Alsacian churches.
  • Église des Dominicains
    Dominican Order
    The Order of Preachers , after the 15th century more commonly known as the Dominican Order or Dominicans, is a Catholic religious order founded by Saint Dominic and approved by Pope Honorius III on 22 December 1216 in France...

     – 1289–1364. Now disaffected as a church, displays Martin Schongauer
    Martin Schongauer
    Martin Schongauer was a German engraver and painter. He was the most important German printmaker before Albrecht Dürer....

    's masterwork La Vierge au buisson de roses as well as 14th century stained glass windows and baroque choir stalls. The adjacent convent
    Convent
    A convent is either a community of priests, religious brothers, religious sisters, or nuns, or the building used by the community, particularly in the Roman Catholic Church and in the Anglican Communion...

     buildings house a section of the municipal library.
  • Église Saint-Matthieu – 13th century. Gothic and Renaissance stained glass windows and mural paintings, as well as a wooden and painted ceiling.
  • Couvent des Antonins
    Hospital Brothers of St. Anthony
    The Hospital Brothers of St. Anthony, Order of St. Anthony or Canons Regular of St. Anthony of Vienne , also Antonines, were a Roman Catholic congregation founded in 1095 or so, with the purpose of caring for those suffering from the common medieval disease of St...

     – 13th century. Disaffected church and convent buildings notable for a richly ornate cloister. Now housing the Unterlinden Museum (see below).
  • Église Sainte-Catherine – 1371. Disaffected church and convent buildings now used as an assembly hall and festival venue (Salle des Catherinettes).
  • Chapelle Saint-Pierre – 1742–1750. Classicist chapel of a former Jesuit
    Society of Jesus
    The Society of Jesus is a Catholic male religious order that follows the teachings of the Catholic Church. The members are called Jesuits, and are also known colloquially as "God's Army" and as "The Company," these being references to founder Ignatius of Loyola's military background and a...

     college.
  • Synagogue – 1843 (Neoclassicism)

Fountains

  • Fontaine de l'Amiral Bruat – 1864 (Statue by Bartholdi
    Frédéric Bartholdi
    Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi was a French sculptor who is best known for designing the Statue of Liberty.-Life and career:...

    )
  • Fontaine Roeselmann – 1888 (Statue by Bartholdi)
  • Fontaine Schwendi – 1898 (Statue by Bartholdi)

Monuments

  • Monument du Général Rapp – 1856 (first shown 1855 in Paris. Statue by Bartholdi, his earliest major work)
  • Monument Hirn – 1894 (Statue by Bartholdi)
  • Statue "Les grands soutiens du monde" − 1902 (in the courtyard of the Bartholdi Museum)
  • Statue of Liberty replica

Museums

  • Unterlinden Museum – one of the main museums in Alsace. Displays the Isenheim Altarpiece
    Isenheim Altarpiece
    The Isenheim Altarpiece is an altarpiece painted by the German artist Matthias Grünewald in 1506-1515. It is on display at the Unterlinden Museum at Colmar, Alsace, now in France....

    , a large collection of medieval, Renaissance and baroque Upper-Rhenish
    Upper Rhine
    The Upper Rhine is the section of the Rhine in the Upper Rhine Plain between Basel, Switzerland and Bingen, Germany. The river is marked by Rhine-kilometers 170 to 529 ....

     paintings and sculptures, archeological artefacts, design and international modern art.
  • Musée Bartholdi – the birthplace of Frédéric Bartholdi
    Frédéric Bartholdi
    Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi was a French sculptor who is best known for designing the Statue of Liberty.-Life and career:...

     shows his life and work through paintings, drawings, family objects and furniture as well as numerous plaster, metal and stone sculptures. A section of the museum is further dedicated to the local Jewish community's heritage
    History of Jews in Alsace
    The history of the Jews in Alsace is one of the oldest in Europe. It was first attested in 1165 by Benjamin of Tudela, who wrote about a "large number of learned men" in "Astransbourg", and it is assumed that it dates back until around the year 1000 CE...

    .
  • Musée d'histoire naturelle et d'ethnographie – the zoological and ethnographical museum of Colmar was founded in 1859. Besides a large collection of stuffed animals and artefacts from former French and German colonies in Africa and Polynesia
    Polynesia
    Polynesia is a subregion of Oceania, made up of over 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean. The indigenous people who inhabit the islands of Polynesia are termed Polynesians and they share many similar traits including language, culture and beliefs...

    , it also houses a collection of ancient Egypt
    Egypt
    Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

    ian items.
  • Musée du jouet – the town's toy museum, founded 1993
  • Musée des usines municipales – industrial and technological museum in a former factory, dedicated to the history of everyday technology.

Library

The Municipal Library of Colmar (Bibliothèque municipale de Colmar) owns one of the richest collections of incunabula in France, with more than 2,300 volumes. This is quite an exceptional number for a city that is neither the main seat of a university, nor of a college, and has its explanation in the disowning of local monasteries
Monastery
Monastery denotes the building, or complex of buildings, that houses a room reserved for prayer as well as the domestic quarters and workplace of monastics, whether monks or nuns, and whether living in community or alone .Monasteries may vary greatly in size – a small dwelling accommodating only...

, abbey
Abbey
An abbey is a Catholic monastery or convent, under the authority of an Abbot or an Abbess, who serves as the spiritual father or mother of the community.The term can also refer to an establishment which has long ceased to function as an abbey,...

s and convent
Convent
A convent is either a community of priests, religious brothers, religious sisters, or nuns, or the building used by the community, particularly in the Roman Catholic Church and in the Anglican Communion...

s during the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 and the subsequent gift of their collections to the town.

Transport

The small regional Colmar Airport
Colmar Airport
Colmar-Houssen Airport is an airport in Colmar, Haut-Rhin, Alsace, France. The airport is along Autoroute A35 and is served by the Colmar Station.-External links:* *...

 serves Colmar.

The train station Gare de Colmar
Gare de Colmar
The gare de Colmar is a rail station located in Colmar, in the Haut-Rhin département of Alsace, France. The same design was used in the construction of Gdansk's principal train station in Poland...

 offers connections to Strasbourg, Mulhouse, Besançon, Zürich and several regional destinations. Colmar was also once linked to Freiburg im Breisgau, in Germany and on the other side of the Rhine, by the Freiburg–Colmar international railway. However the railway bridge over the Rhine between Breisach
Breisach
Breisach is a town with approximately 16,500 inhabitants, situated along the Rhine in the Rhine Valley, in the district Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, about halfway between Freiburg and Colmar — 20 kilometres away from each — and about 60 kilometres north of Basel near the...

 and Neuf-Brisach
Neuf-Brisach
Neuf-Brisach is a commune in the Haut-Rhin department in Alsace in north-eastern France.The town's name means New Breisach, referring to the German town Breisach, located on the other side of the Rhine....

 was destroyed in 1945 and never replaced.

Education

Colmar shares the Université de Haute-Alsace with the neighbouring, larger city of Mulhouse
Mulhouse
Mulhouse |mill]] hamlet) is a city and commune in eastern France, close to the Swiss and German borders. With a population of 110,514 and 278,206 inhabitants in the metropolitan area in 2006, it is the largest city in the Haut-Rhin département, and the second largest in the Alsace region after...

. Of the approximately 8,000 students of the UHA, circa 1,500 study at the Institut universitaire de technologie (IUT) Colmar, at the Colmar branch of the Faculté des Sciences et Techniques and at the Unité de Formation et de Recherche Pluridisciplinaire d'Enseignement Professionalisé Supérieur (UFR P.E.P.S.).

Music

Since 1980, Colmar is home to the international summer festival of classical music Festival de Colmar (also known as Festival international de musique classique de Colmar). In its first version (1980 to 1989), it was placed under the artistic direction of the German conductor Karl Münchinger
Karl Münchinger
Karl Münchinger was a German conductor of European classical music. He helped to revive the now-ubiquitous Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel, through recording it with his Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra in 1960...

. Since 1989, it is helmed by the Russian violinist and conductor Vladimir Spivakov
Vladimir Spivakov
Vladimir Teodorovich Spivakov is a leading Russian conductor and violinist best known for his work with the chamber orchestra....

.

Economy

Colmar is an affluent city whose primary economic strength lies in the flourishing tourist industry. But it is also the seat of several large companies: Timken
Timken Company
The Timken Company is a global manufacturer of bearings, alloy steels, and related components and assemblies.- History :The company was founded by Henry Timken in St. Louis, Missouri in 1899 and incorporated as The Timken Roller Bearing Axle Company. A year earlier, in 1898, Timken got a patent...

 (European seat), Liebherr
Liebherr Group
The Liebherr Group is a German manufacturing complex established in 1949 by Hans Liebherr. The Liebherr Group's holding company is Liebherr-International AG in Bulle, Switzerland, which is entirely owned by members of the Liebherr family...

 (French seat), Leitz (French seat), Capsugel France (A division of Pfizer
Pfizer
Pfizer, Inc. is an American multinational pharmaceutical corporation. The company is based in New York City, New York with its research headquarters in Groton, Connecticut, United States...

) ...

Every year since 1947, Colmar is host to what is now considered as the biggest annual commercial event as well as the largest festival in Alsace, the Foire aux vins d'Alsace (Alsacian wine fair).

When Air Alsace
Air Alsace
Société Air Alsace was an airline with its head office on the grounds of the Colmar-Houssen Aerodrome in Colmar, France-Company history:Air Alsace began as an air taxi operation based in Colmar in 1962. It began operations using small aircraft and in 1974 began regional services. In cooperation...

 existed, its head office was on the grounds of Colmar Airport
Colmar Airport
Colmar-Houssen Airport is an airport in Colmar, Haut-Rhin, Alsace, France. The airport is along Autoroute A35 and is served by the Colmar Station.-External links:* *...

.

Notable people

The following people were born in Colmar:
  • Martin Schongauer
    Martin Schongauer
    Martin Schongauer was a German engraver and painter. He was the most important German printmaker before Albrecht Dürer....

     (1450–1491), painter and engraver
  • Georg Wickram
    Georg Wickram
    Georg Wickram was a German poet and novelist.Wickram was born at Colmar in Alsace; the exact date of his birth and death are unknown. He founded a Meistersinger school in Colmar in 1549, and has left a number of Meistersingerlieder...

     (1502–1562), poet and novelist
  • Antoine Xavier Natal (1733–1801), brigadier during the French Revolution
    French Revolution
    The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

  • Jean-François Rewbell
    Jean-François Rewbell
    Jean-François Rewbell was a French lawyer, diplomat, and politician of the Revolution.-The revolutionary:...

     (1747–1807), diplomat and revolutionist
  • Jean Rapp
    Jean Rapp
    Jean Rapp was a French Army general during the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars.Rapp was born the son of the janitor of the town-hall of Colmar. He began theological studies to became a clergy man, but with his build and heated character, he was better suited to the military,...

     (1771–1821), general
  • Charles Xavier Thomas
    Charles Xavier Thomas
    Charles Xavier Thomas de Colmar was a French inventor and entrepreneur best known for designing, patenting and manufacturing the first commercially successful mechanical calculator, the Arithmometer and for founding the insurance companies "Le Soleil" and "L'aigle" which, under his leadership,...

     (1785–1870), inventor
  • Marie Bigot
    Marie Bigot
    Marie Bigot was a French piano teacher whose full name was Marie Kiéné Bigot de Morogues. As a composer she is best known for her sonatas and études....

     (1786–1820), musician
  • Armand Joseph Bruat
    Armand Joseph Bruat
    Armand Joseph Bruat was a French admiral.- Biography :Bruat joined the French Navy in 1811, at the height of the Napoleonic Wars. His early career included far-ranging sea duties: in 1815, he served in Brazil and the West Indies. From 1817 to 1820 he was with French forces in the Levant...

     (1796–1855), admiral
  • Georges-Charles de Heeckeren d'Anthès (1812–1895), politician, killer of Alexander Pushkin in a duel
  • Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi (1834–1904), sculptor, created the original Statue of Liberty
    Statue of Liberty
    The Statue of Liberty is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, designed by Frédéric Bartholdi and dedicated on October 28, 1886...

  • Camille Sée
    Camille Sée
    Camille Sée was a French politician who was born in Colmar.As the pioneer of the 1880 French law which established Lycées for girls, he also created the École normale supérieure in Sèvres in 1881....

    , (1847–1919), politician
  • Jean-Baptiste Lemire
    Jean-Baptiste Lemire
    Jean-Baptiste Lemire was a French composer.- Biography :Jean-Baptiste Lemire was born in Colmar, Haut-Rhin. He was the son of Jean-Baptiste , a mason, and Anne-Marie Sarter , a dressmaker...

     (1867–1945), composer
  • Jean-Jacques Waltz (1873–1951), drawer and caricaturist
  • Guy Roux (born 1938), football coach
  • Pierre Moerlen
    Pierre Moerlen
    Pierre Moerlen was a French drummer and percussionist, best known for his work with Gong and Mike Oldfield.-Biography:...

     (1952–2005), musician
  • Pierre Hermé
    Pierre Hermé
    Pierre Hermé is a French pastry chef most famous for his macarons, often with unusual flavor combinations. French Vogue magazine dubbed him "The Picasso of Pastry."- Food :...

     (born 1961), pastry chef
  • Thomas Bloch
    Thomas Bloch
    Thomas Bloch is a classical musician specializing in the rare instruments ondes Martenot, glass harmonica, and Cristal Baschet....

     (born 1962), musician
  • Lætitia Bléger
    Lætitia Bléger
    Lætitia Bléger is a beauty queen who has competed at the Miss Universe pageant.Bléger won the Miss France title in 2004 and represented France at the Miss Universe 2004 pageant held in Quito, Ecuador in May 2004....

     (born 1981), Miss France 2004
  • Marc Keller
    Marc Keller
    Marc Keller is a retired French football player, who played primarily as a midfielder. In his club career he played in France, Germany and England. For the national side he played six times, scoring one goal against Brazil. He later became Director-General of RC Strasbourg and AS Monaco.-External...

     (born 1968), football player
  • Amaury Bischoff
    Amaury Bischoff
    Amaury Armindo Bischoff is a French–Portuguese footballer who plays for C.D. Aves as a central midfielder.-Early years:Bischoff was born in Colmar, Haut-Rhin, the son of a French father - from Alsace - and a Portuguese mother....

     (born 1987), football player

Twin towns — Sister cities

Colmar is twinned with:
Abingdon
Abingdon, Oxfordshire
Abingdon or archaically Abingdon-on-Thames is a market town and civil parish in Oxfordshire, England. It is the seat of the Vale of White Horse district. Previously the county town of Berkshire, Abingdon is one of several places that claim to be Britain's oldest continuously occupied town, with...

, United Kingdom Hyde
Hyde, Greater Manchester
Hyde is a town in the Metropolitan Borough of Tameside, Greater Manchester, England. As of the 2001 census, the town had a population of 31,253. Historically part of Cheshire, it is northeast of Stockport, west of Glossop and east of Manchester....

, United Kingdom Eisenstadt
Eisenstadt
- Politics :The current mayor of Eisenstadt is Andrea Fraunschiel ÖVP.The district council is composed as follows :* ÖVP: 17 seats* SPÖ: 8 seats* Austrian Green Party: 2 seats* FPÖ: 2 seats- Castles and palaces :...

, Austria Győr
Gyor
-Climate:-Main sights:The ancient core of the city is Káptalan Hill at the confluence of three rivers: the Danube, Rába and Rábca. Püspökvár, the residence of Győr’s bishops can be easily recognised by its incomplete tower. Győr’s oldest buildings are the 13th-century dwelling tower and the...

, Hungary
Lucca
Lucca
Lucca is a city and comune in Tuscany, central Italy, situated on the river Serchio in a fertile plainnear the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Lucca...

, Italy Princeton
Princeton, New Jersey
Princeton is a community located in Mercer County, New Jersey, United States. It is best known as the location of Princeton University, which has been sited in the community since 1756...

, United States Schongau, Bavaria
Schongau, Bavaria
Schongau is a small town in Bavaria, near the Alps. It is located along the Lech, between Landsberg am Lech and Füssen. It has about 12,000 inhabitants...

, Germany Sint-Niklaas
Sint-Niklaas
Sint-Niklaas is a Belgian city and municipality located in the Flemish province of East Flanders. The municipality comprises the city of Sint-Niklaas proper and the towns of Belsele, Nieuwkerken-Waas, and Sinaai....

, Belgium

External links

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