Petite Venise, Colmar
This is certainly the most popular photograph of Colmar. A must for every visitor.
It is taken from the bridge of the Turenne street on the Lauch River. The half-timbered houses which form the Romantik hotel - restaurant Le Maréchal constitute the most spectacular element of this part of Colmar called the "Petite Venise".
Actually this district, in the southern part of old Colmar, does not look at all like Venice not even like Bruges. On approximately 1 km the quays of the Lauch with its coloured half timbered houses offer to the visitors and to the photographers a unique spectacle which is typical Alsatian!
As for the Hotel Romantik, so often photographed from the bridge, I staid there some years ago. I would say that it is better from outside than from inside (what ties up with the comments on Trip Advisor). The restaurant is not bad but very 'bourgeois".
Ceci est certainement la photo la plus prisée des visiteurs de Colmar. Elle se prend à partir du pont de la rue de Turenne sur la rivière Lauch. Les maisons à colombages qui forment l'hôtel Romantik - restaurant Le Maréchal en constituent l'élément le plus spectaculaire.
Le quartier de la Petite Venise se trouve dans la partie sud du vieux Colmar.
Sur environ 1 Km les quais de la Lauch avec ses maisons colorées à colombages offrent aux visiteurs et aux photographes un spectacle unique.
Quant à l'Hôtel Romantik, si souvent photographié à partir du pont, j'en ai fait l'expérience il y a une demi douzaine d'années. Je dirais qu'il est mieux de l'extérieur que de l'intérieur (ce qui rejoint les commentaires sur Trip Advisor). Le restaurant n'est pas mal mais très bourgeois.
The charming quarter called "Little Venice" is one of the main attractions of Colmar. Picturesque colourful houses were built to both sides of the small river La Lauch, on which you can do a boat trip.
A lot of nice, small restaurants offer good local food. Just stroll along the cobbled alleys and soak up the atmosphere of past times.
Petite Venise (Small Venice) is the lowest part of Colmar and its special landscapes are photographed by every visitor to the city. From both sides of this small bridge, the view on the Lauch river framed with old half timber houses is outstanding.
From the Covered Market we took the short walk to Petite Venice, the most beautiful section of the Old Town.
On each side of the waterway are beautiful multi story houses built centuries ago. All well kept, with flower baskets hanging from the walls. Many of the waterside properties were now used as restaurants with tables on the decking overlooking the waterway. The ideal place to enjoy lunch in the sun.
Time would not permit us to enjoy a boat tour of Petite Venice. However it would be the ideal way to enjoy this fabulous district as you are so close to the old buildings.
For those walking I doubt if you can walk canal side , and we could not find a path so we had to settle for the view from the bridge. We walked the street and saw the other side of the buldings (non waterfront). The street side was not as beautiful as the waterfront.
There are many towns and cities in Europe with a "Little Venice". This one is my favourite of the three I have seen, I must admit. Easy to find in the centre of the old town, it is the very best place to sit and watch the world go by. Lots of lovely little restaurants to enjoy as well. It's the perfect spot for a coffee break whilst you're walking around the town.
Come and discover on a flat-bottomed boat, its lovely, authentic landscape.
Open every day from April to September and each Week-End of March and October.
Departure between 10.00 AM to 12.00 PM and 01.30 PM to 07.00 PM during high season.
30 minute long commented trip.
Tickets sold on boats.
Individual: 6 € per person.
Free for children under 10.
Calling Colmar's canal district Petite Venise is more affectionate than accurate, since it consists of only a few canals and quais. Visitors can even ride on a "Petite Gondole", in reality small canoes with an electric motor. It is undeniably picturesque, however. The real Venise would be hard-pressed to come up with more charming facades of colorful half-timbered houses.
"The bridge over the Lauch marks the start of the Krutenau, a community united around the memory of Martin Stockmeyer: this boatman, nicknamed the "Hercules of Colmar", was in February 1791 largely responsible for the victory of the Revolution in the face of an uprising of the aristocratic party. The road owes its current name to the marshal Turenne, who used it in 1674 for his solemn entry at the head of 800 cavalrymen. The picturesque line of old houses, which are accessible by small boat, is the reason for the name "Little Venice"."
After our large lunch of Rosti and Choucroute, Madeleine and I weren't really capable of walking around Colmar for a while, so we decided now was the best time to go on our little boat ride of the canal. The boats were wooden (not much larger than a row boat) and very small - holding a maximum of 9 people with the guide at the back operating the tiny (and not noisy) outboard motor. We thoroughly enjoyed our quiet little trip down the canals, first down a leafy end with leafy residential gardens either side, then we turned around and went down the more touristy part with restaurants and colourful buildings, very nice indeed.
The cruise was about 5 or 6 Euros for approx 25 minutes.
To find Colmar at its most charming, wander along the calm canals that wind through La Petite Venise, an area of bright Alsatian houses with colorful shutters and window boxes that's south of the center of town.
What a spectacular sight to walk along the river and see all these wonderful old halftimbered houses reflecting in the water - it seems as if you are right there in the Middle Ages! There are dozens of little alleys that you can just wander around - just be prepared that you will not be alone!
Colmar's most eye-catching quarter, and with much of the small city's best architecture crammed into one tiny space. Colmar doesn't have a great deal of waterfront real estate, but it makes the most of what little it has. The little half-timbered Alsatian houses that cling to the edge of the river Lauch as it winds through the city's old fishmonger district.
Originally Little Venice was on the outskirts of the town and little more than a refuge for winemakers and boatmen. It captures so perfectly the essence of Colmar - at least the essence that tourists want captured - the district is now central to most visitor's plans.
Colmar is a midsize town ( or if you prefer, the largest little town ) in Alsace and has a very interesting historical center. Besides the medieval halftimbered houses, there is a quarter known as Petite Venise ( Little Venice ), because of the canals that remind the italian city. In addition, Colmar is always full of flowers ( this picture was taken in Autumn ), making it one of the most romantic town in the Route de Vins d'Alsace.
Colmar's Petite Venise looks just like a scaled down version of Strasbourg's Petite France, only it's even more postcard-like, and has somewhat fewer tourists on an average day than Petite France does.
Situated down the Grand Rue from the Ancienne Douanne, which I took for the centre of the town, is a pretty place to be in for 3 or 4 hours, but it would wear you out if you decide to take it in in 1 or 2.
Most buildings are of dolly-mixture colors (I remember mostly yellow, orange, blue, and can be identified as former fishermen' cottages. Those fishermen were really lucky, living in such a beautiful place! - that was my
first thought upon seeing the place. Once again, imagine having your workplace just underneath your windows. Great, is it no? Yeah, but if anybody lives there now they must be really unhappy, with all the tourists -- my second thought, after better considering the situation.
However, I digress. That was quai de Poisonnerie. The next one is quai des Tanneurs, with black-and-white (and again
really postcard-like) half-timbered houses. Now, I've never been to Chester, in UK (yet), but a friend of mine who had said the houses in Colmar are just as worth seeing as the more famous ones in Chester. The houses have open verandas on the top floor, that were used (originally) for drying hides. I'd use them for sunbathing, though...
You can discover the area either on foot, or on a leisury boat trip, that takes you from the tanners' quarter to the rue des Tanneurs. It's bound to be a refreshing afternoon in any case.