Building on a millennium of Franco-German influences

The colourful fishmongers district in Colmar

Architecture of France... Colmar

It is no surprise that Colmar, with its pretty, coloured half-timbered buildings and Little Venice area, where you can row along the canal past picturesque waterside houses, is hugely popular with tourists.

The historic centre of the town – with 58 buildings classed as monuments historiques – survived both world wars largely intact.

It is now a protected area (secteur sauvegardé), which means any new construction, restoration or demolition is strictly controlled.

Every year tourists from all over the world visit. One, the prime minister of Malaysia, was so impressed that he had a reconstruction built in the jungle near to Kuala Lumpur (see here).

Emmanuel Fromm, the town’s communications director for tourism (, said: “It is true to say you can see 1,000 years of architectural history in Colmar. When visitors come here, they are amazed by the variety and detail to be discovered.”

Enlightenment writer, ...

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