While studying abroad in France, I have gotten the opportunity to visit some of the most amazing places. Among these places, Colmar (the Alsace region), has to be one of my favorites. This region, famously known for its vineyards and beautiful houses, has an incredibly rich history, with many different types of relics and reminders of its past. When visiting, I took a three hour tour, being driven around the area and hearing all about the history of the region and its people. The village looked straight out of a Disney movie, and it was. According to my tour guide, this region was the inspiration for the Disney Beauty and the Beast movie! I felt as if I had quite literally entered a storybook.
In addition to its film history, I got to walk past buildings from the 16th century and visited the birthplace of both Pope Leo IX (a man born in 1002!) and the creator of the Statue of Liberty, Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi. Living in America, often, we are unable to see standing artifacts from a time before that of our Founding Fathers but in France, there’s standing relics from many different eras of time and points in history. I often found myself struggling to believe that what I was seeing was real, that I really was standing among buildings that had been there from a time long before modern technology, a time of different people and historical events.
In addition to its history, the location of Colmar was amazing. About 40 minutes from Switzerland and 30 from Germany, I was able to see, in the distance, different geographical features of each surrounding country. The beautiful mountains, winding rivers, and amazing vineyards were a sight to see. I still struggle a bit to believe a place as amazing as that is real but I am so grateful to have visited and view a place that truly looks like a town stuck in time, a timeless beauty.