Thursday, March 25, 2010

Colmar, France

We took a walking tour through Colmar, courtesy of a wonderful guide from the tourism office. She was very knowledgeable and I learned a lot. I'm going to share some tidbits and photos, in no particular order. I strongly recommend a stop in Colmar if you ever visit France. Beautiful city.

In the older part of town, you see the half-timber houses. The older buildings are all original, some dating back to the 13th century. During the war, the town was hit with a bomb only once and did minimal damage. I find that amazing.

In the old days, if people wanted to move, they dissembled their homes and numbered the timbers so they could be put together again. Hubby jokes that the French invented mobile homes. Notice the crazy roofs in the picture below? They are purposely built that way.

Notice the area protruding on the building below? People used to set up altars or place chairs in this space for praying. Normally you would only see this on one floor, but this building has it on two.

When people were taxed on their houses, they were taxed on the amount of ground their houses covered. So, to have more room and not have to pay a lot of taxes, there are many that built the ground floor, then expanded on each subsequent floor. Check out the houses below for a good example. Eventually, they had to set guidelines because houses were falling over. They were top-heavy!

Okay, that's all for today. I'll have some more interesting facts and pictures from Colmar tomorrow. I hope you're enjoying the trip. I'm having fun remembering it as I write it out. Have a great day!


Rachel Lynne said...

Awesome! You know I love tidbits :) That is funny about the tall houses, in the US they taxed windows so they started building windows that opened like French doors cause ...then it wasn't a window! Funny how clever we can be when someone is after our hard earned money :)

Enjoy the Rouladon ...

Ms Menozzi said...

Your timing is eerie... LOL! I'm writing some scenes set in Colmar very soon (my bike race has a stage starting there in the story) and this is very helpful for setting the atmosphere! Thanks for sharing! :)

Riley Quinn said...

I'm glad you liked it, Rachel. The guide told us all kinds of cool things but of course, brain overload. Couldn't remember everything. I'll have a few more tomorrow.

Ms. Menozzi,how cool that you are using Colmar in your story. Feel free to email me if I can help you with anything.

Maeve said...

The architecture is gorgeous. I would've had to be led around because I would've been staring at the buildings. Beautiful!

Cohen said...

I love Colmar! And I agree it's eerie. When I write I'm surrounded by two big posters I bought in Colmar, prints of Grunewald and Schongauer. Hope you see them. They're gorgeous – well, I bought them, so I would think so.


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