The Dominican church is one of the finest examples of simple Gothic architecture. It was built in the first half of the 14th century. Very impressive are the tall pillars which carry the wooden ceiling.
The highlight of the church, though, is a famous picture of Martin Schongauer, the "Madonna im Rosenhag" (1473). Schongauer created a peaceful scene with a meditative Madonna, holding her curiously looking, almost smiling child in her arms. The picture got its name from the many roses in the background. The picture had its original place in the church St. Martin, but it was stolen in 1972. Found and restored later it was transferred to the Dominican church where it is to find now.
In some ways the most impressive building in Colmar, St. Martin's dominates the Place de la Cathedrale with its steeple which soars over 200 feet in the air and its typically Alsatian multi-colored tiled roof. It is so large and set in such narrow streets that it is hard to get an overall view, so walk around and admire the flying buttresses and lovely carved pinnacles. It is built of stone of course and dates to the 13th and 14th Centuries. Its external carving is magnificent and can be enjoyed over a drink or morning coffee in the Place de la Cathedral. This is the second church in Alsace that I learned is shared by Catholics and Protestants. I wonder if this is common - it would make sense given the French/German character of her history.
This painting has several different names, Virgin in the Rosebush, Madonna and Child in the Rose Arbor, Madonna in the Rose Bower, but by any name it is brilliant. It was painted in 1473 but the colors are as vibrant as if done yesterday. The artist, Martin Schongauer, was born in Alsace and did the painting originally for St. Martin's Cathedral. I don't know how it ended up in the hands of the Dominican Church, but as this church is typically plain (a Dominican trait), the contrast is wonderful. Maybe there is a good story of religious order rivalry here as St. Martin's is a Franciscan. The church is an interesting visit, but the painting is not to be missed. Notice the goldfinches, robins and sparrows which add life to the already beautiful rose bush.
This church started being built in 1234 until 1365. It is a major example of Gothic Art. The foundations of a church dating back to the end of the first millennium were found, along with traces of building work from the 11th and 12th centuries during the restoration
Collegiate Church of St. Martin. Gothic church built in the 13th & 14th centuries. Very dark inside and had a large pipe-organ which was playing at the time of my visit. Seemed very erie with the music, like a horror movie.
This 14th century church is the grandest in Colmar, and one of the finest in Alsace. It has some great stained-glass windows, a beautiful organ, and fine Renaissance sculpture.
Inside is the famous 'Virgin of the Rose Bower' by Martin Schonagauer, a renowned Alsatian painter and native of Colmar.
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