10 largest cities in France




Colmar is the seat of the prefecture of the Haut-Rhin department, one of the two departments of the Alsace region. It is also the Alsace Wine Capital and the third largest city in the region by population.

Its inhabitants are called the Colmariens and the Colmariennes.

The city has been classified as a 4-flower town in bloom since 1984 and has won the Grand Prix national du fleurissement on numerous occasions since 1996.

Former city of the Decapolis, this league of ten free cities that have been part of the Holy Roman Empire since 1354, annexed by Louis XIV in 1680, Colmar has a rich historical past. Returned to Germany between 1870 and 1918, then annexed to the Nazi Reich between 1940 and 1945, it was the last Alsatian city to be liberated on February 9, 1945 by the First French Army (de Lattre de Tassigny) and the 6th U.S. Army Group.

It benefits from a microclimate which makes it one of the driest towns in France and the capital of the Alsace wine region. Its geographical location, in the Rhine axis, makes it an economically attractive city and its rich architectural heritage a major tourist destination.

It is the birthplace of Admiral Bruat, of the empire general Rapp and especially of Georges Bartholdi (his birthplace is a museum) and of Jean Jacques Waltz, the Alsatian designer better known by his pseudonym Hansi.


House of the Heads of Colmar
The building is located at 19, rue des Têtes in Colmar.
The Maison des Têtes is a historical monument located in Colmar, in the French department of Haut-Rhin.

This house, built in 16091 on behalf of the merchant Anton Burger, stettmeister of Colmar from 1626 to 1628, is one of the best known in Colmar. The house, which has been classified as a historical monument since December 6, 1898.

Anton Burger (Antoine Burger)
Anton was born in 1579. He had his father's house demolished in 1609, to rebuild on the original site the one that from 1974 would forever bear the name of the “House of the Heads”.

He had his coat of arms (castle or Burg) placed twice on the facade, on the scrolled gable and above the portal, of this house with the unusual decoration composed of a profusion of figurines and above all of 105 grotesque masks. from which it takes its name. Part of the second representation includes the arms of his wife, Anne Ortlieb from Riquewihr and whose father Conrad Ortlieb was immortalized by a figurine on a house in Riquewihr.

Anton Burger belonged since 1602 to the corporation of merchants and took an active part in the life of the city as a municipal councilor from 1612 to become Stattmeister in 1626. The Catholic reform or Counter-Reformation made him flee and he settled in Basel in 1698 where he remained until the end of his days.

Different owners
In 1698, Anton's heirs ceded the Maison des Têtes to Baudoin De Launay against 1,500 Thalers. And the house goes from owner to owner. From one named Guillier, treasurer of the extraordinary wars of Sélestat, to De Prudhomme, captain of the Noailles infantry regiment before being acquired by the Wine Exchange.

A testament to this past as a wine exchange, the Maison des Têtes has a bronze cooper on its scalloped gable (1902), a sculpture of one of Colmar's most famous citizens, Auguste Bartholdi. It became a Restaurant and a meeting place in 1898. Today almost 100 years after the opening of the restaurant La Maison des Têtes, Carmen and Marc Rohfritsch have restored two-thirds of the buildings, which have become dilapidated and remained unoccupied for around forty years. years, in order to add a hotel.

In 2015, Marilyn and Éric Girardin opened a gourmet restaurant which received one star in the prestigious Michelin Guide in February 2017.