Every colour of home had a signification, every corporation of trades had its colour, it was easier to identify them on the street. The blue also represents the Catholic families, and red Protestant families.
In the square you can pick up an easy 4-mile English tour through the Old Town. We understand that the train does not stop, so you will have to return to take photos unless you have a fast camera.
We needed a tour that could work for a group of people of all ages and mobility. This is our solution, I believe. At least, it is a good way to get your bearings and an overview of the Old Town in the pedestrian-only zone.
DATES AND TIMETABLES INDIVIDUAL PRICES:
Trains run from Easter to All Saints', every day at the following times :
9:00 - 9:30 - 10:00 - 10:30 - 11:00 - 11:30 - 12:00
13:30 - 14:00 - 14:30 - 15:00 - 15:30 - 16:00 - 16:30 - 17:00 - 17:30 - 18:00
5.50 each 3.00 each
(2 to 12 years old)
Group prices (minimum 15 people) :
1 driver and 1 guide free of charge for 60 people
15 to 60 people : 4.50 each
61 to 120 people : 4.00 each
up to 121 people : 3.50 each
School prices :
under 12 years : 3.00 EUR each
12 to 18 years : 4.00 EUR each
Owner : Anne LUDMANN - DANICHER
Head office :
9b rue Adolphe Hirn - Logelbach
Tel (33) 3 89 24 19 82
Fax (33) 3 89 41 50 34
Annual holidays :
23rd December 2006 - 31rd January 2007.
At the time of my first visit in Colmar this construction had intrigued me by its name “Koïfhus” of which I did not see the link with "douane" in French or "Zoll" in German.
I thought of “Kauf Haus” but I did not find confirmation of this linguistic origin.
The building which was used for the storage and control of the goods by the customs appeared small to me for such a use. Involuntarily I compare with a warehouse like that of the “Lakenhalle” in Ypres, Belgium, which by its size could contain a half dozen Koïfhus. (That the inhabitants of Colmar forgive my access of chauvinism).
If the building is small it is all the more pretty seen from all sides with its balustrades, staircases and coloured tile roofs. It was used as town hall, Chamber of commerce and nowadays in December it shelters shops of the Christmas Market, what makes it possible to visit the interior.
The small river, nicely lit in the evening, which runs at the back of Koïfhus, is an arm of the Lauch river which crosses Colmar (by the "Petite Venise"). It is said that in old times goods would arrive at the Koïfhus by small barges.
Lors de ma première visite à Colmar cette construction m'avait intriguée par son nom "Koïfhus" dont je ne voyais pas le lien avec Douane qui se dit "Zoll" en Allemand. J'ai pensé à "Kauf Haus" mais je n'ai pas trouvé confirmation de cette origine linguistique.
Merci à ceux qui voudront bien m'éclairer.
L'édifice qui servait au stockage et au contrôle des marchandises par la douane m'a paru petit pour un tel usage. Involontairement je compare avec un entrepôt comme celui de la "Lakenhalle" à Ypres, Belgique qui pourrait contenir une demi douzaine de Koïfhus. (Que les habitants de Colmar pardonnent mon accès de chauvinisme).
Si l'édifice est petit il en est d'autant plus joli sous toutes ces façades avec ses balustrades, escaliers, toits en tuiles de couleur. Il a été utilisé comme mairie, Chambre de Commerce et actuellement en décembre il abrite des échoppes pour le Marché de Noël ce qui permet de visiter l'intérieur.
La petite rivière, canalisée et joliment éclairée le soir, qui coule à l'arrière du Koïfhus est un bras de la rivière Lauch qui traverse Colmar (par la Petite Venise). Elle permettait dans les temps anciens l'arrivée de marchandises par barques.
Every evening, going to our usual restaurant at Koïfhus, we passed on this corner of the Rue des Marchands.
Each time I tried a photo in the dark without tripod; most are blurred, a few are acceptable. As apparently all photos here are on day time I will add a few at night with the Christmas illuminations.
The "Maison Pfister" is probably the most original house of Colmar and a symbol of the town. Interesting that a hat maker, Ludwig Scherer, could have such a wealthy house build in 1537! Must have been a profit full job in that time.
Le soir, sur le chemin de notre habituel restaurant au Koïfhus, nous passions devant cette maison qui est probablement la plus originale de Colmar.
Mes photos avec la maison illuminée sont souvent floues mais illustrent bien l'ambiance romantique de Colmar en période de Noël.
Qu'un chapelier Ludwig Scherer ait pu construire en 1537 un telle demeure m'interpelle!
Le nom Pfister provient d'un propriétaire au 19e siècle.
The Koifhus complex was in use in 1480 for administration on the first floor and at ground level as a warehouse. The main entrance is up two levels of stairs on the west side. The building is of sandstone and has a sharply pitched tiled roof. The side opposite the entry has a ground level three arcaded ground floor and with a loggia above it. These look out on the Place de l'Ancienne Douane. In the middle of the Square is a fountain topped by a statue of Baron Lazare of Schwendi (1522-83). lord of Holandsberg. The work was created by Bartholdi in 1897.
The Old Guard House wasbuilt in 1575 on the site of a previous St. James chapel. It has a semicircular main entrance which has a finely decorated loggia on its first floor level with sculptured ornamentation. Immediately to the left on the Place de la Cathedral is the Adolph House, the oldest house in Colmar from the 14C with some Gothic windows. In 1584 some changes were made at the right edge with ornamentation.
At the corner of rue Merciere and rue des Marchands stands the Pfister House (1537) with an oriel projecting into the street corner. This is the most attractive of the many old buildings in Colmar. The oriel rises from this part of the frontage for three levels above the ground floor to end with a tlled pointed roof top. The lowest level of the oriel is embellished with busts of two emperors and there are biblical decorations on the top level. The left end of the building rises to 5 levels and has an octogonal top and lower has a spiral staircase. Next door to the left is an early 17C building with a full sized wooden statue projecting from its left end depicting the original owner. Across the street are the Musee Bartholdi and the Schongauer House.
The traditional Christmas Markets of Colmar, on different squares, are for me a standard of what a Christmas market should be:
A glitter of decorations and magic lightings,
Products responding to art and tradition qualitative criteria.
In Colmar regional craftsmanship, local products and the traditional cakes, pastries and confectionary of Christmas are indeed promoted.
The five markets with their small market houses are like mini villages where it is pleasant to walk. They have their own identity.
1° The Christmas market located on the "Place des Dominicains" is dominated by the 14th century church with magnificent stained-glass windows illuminated at nightfall.
2° The market which is inside the "Koïfhus" presents in its ceremonial rooms art objects in a historical medieval setting.
3° Outside the Koïfhus is the one located on "Place de l’Ancienne Douane" along the river.
4° The market on the "Place Jeanne d’Arc" offers a selection of handcrafted and local food products.
5° In the Petite Venise district is a market dedicated to children with a lot of gifts, sweets and animations.
Open from 25/11 - 31/12, from 14 - 19 h.
Closed on 25/12.
Friday open 10 - 20 h.
Saturday 10 - 21 h.
26/12 open 10 - 20 h.
24/12 & 31/12 open 10 - 17 h.
At the back of the St Martin church stand some remarkable buildings.
There is a building the "Corps de Garde" in Rhine Renaissance style of the 16th century. The door is flanked by two columns in Tuscany style. It is surmounted by a loggia decorated with Corinthian columns.
It is an unexpected architectural style for a guard's house but the building was initially intended to become the Town hall. It contrasts with the surrounding half-timbered houses. On the right, the arched passage leads to the street of the Marchands.
On its left is the Maison Adolph, built towards 1350, which has on the 2nd floor gothic windows. It is probably the oldest house of Colmar.
A l'arrière de la collégiale St Martin se dressent quelques édifices remarquables.
Il y a un bâtiment en style Renaissance rhénane du 16e siècle. La porte, est flanqué de deux colonnes en style Toscan. Il est surmonté d'une loggia elle-même décorée de colonnes corinthiennes.
C'est un style architectural inattendu pour un corps de garde mais le bâtiment était d'abord destiné à devenir l'Hôtel de Ville. Il contraste avec les maisons à colombages voisines. Sur la droite le passage voûté conduit à la rue des Marchands.
A sa gauche se trouve la Maison Aldolph, construite vers 1350, qui possède au 2eme étage des fenêtres en arc brisé, gothiques. Elle est probablement la plus ancienne maison de Colmar.
On the left of the Maison Pfister stands a house called "Zum Kragen" (at the collar) well known for its remarkable polychrome wood statue at the angle of the house. It shows a bearded man dressed in Renaissance clothes, probably a cloth merchant or draper holding a yardstick.
La maison "Zum Kragen" (Au Collet), située à gauche et accolée à la maison Pfister, est connue pour la statue de bois polychrome à l'angle du premier étage représentant un personnage barbu en tenue Renaissance. Il s'agit d'un drapier tenant une aune pour mesurer les tissus.
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