15 hours ago
Thursday, March 25, 2010
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!