Caravan Sonnet: Saint Martin's Collegiate Church (Place de la Cathedrale) // Colmar, France

2/12/18

Saint Martin's Collegiate Church (Place de la Cathedrale) // Colmar, France

As I mentioned on Saturday, our visit to Colmar, France was one of our favorite stops on our Rhine River Cruise! (If you missed last weeks posts about Colmar, I shared a brief history of the old town which you can read about HERE and then 7 Things you Must See When You Visit Old Town Colmar in the Winter which you can read about HERE!) Today I am so excited to share with y'all about the Saint Martin Church or the Place de la Cathedrale in Colmar. For those who are going on the Viking River Cruise on the Rhine River you will see this as part of your tour with your guide. You don't have a chance on the tour to go into the church, but during your free time exploration you would if you wanted to! 
Saint Martin's Collegiate Church, built in the years between 1235 and 1365 is an historic example of Gothic architecture in the Alsace region of France. Due to a fire in the south tower in 1572 the framework of the church and the roofs were unfortunately destroyed. In 1575 the tower was replaced by the original lantern bulb. The lantern bulb is a construction on the top of the dome which has the form of the lantern (hence its name). This unique architecture gives St. Martin's Church the silhouette that it has. The church also suffered extensive damage during the French Revolution but was also later restored.
For those who have an interest in archeology, the church has been restored several times and during one of the most recent restorations in 1982 foundations of an original church (dated from the year 1000!) were discovered and found. 
There is a bit of confusion about whether or not the church is actually considered a Cathedral. For a long time the inhabitants of Colmar considered Saint Martin's to be their cathedral. Historically (according to the Colmar Tourism office) it was only a Cathedral for ten years (from Civil Constitution in 1790 to the Concordat of 1801). To be honest during our visit the names were used interchangeably (not just by our tour guide but when I specifically asked a variety of different shop owners) and even in my blog post I have referred to Saint Martin's Collegiate Church as both a church and a Cathedral. 
It was truly a beautiful and unique place to visit and would definitely recommend that y'all see it. Has anyone visited the Church before? I would love to know! 

 Interested in reading more posts from our Viking River Cruise on the Rhine River? Simply click on the links below! 


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