Little town, it's a quiet village. Everyday like the one before. (insert Belle's song here). After the remake of Disney's Beauty and the Beast I was inspired to travel to Europe. Considering the fact that I had never actually been to Europe (minus a stopover in Amsterdam) it was a trip that was needed. Plus, after the overly humid Korean summer, I was over travelling to hot countries for the year. I didn't actually know that there was a village in France that inspired Beauty and the Beast until I saw it in a Facebook group I am a part of, Girls Love Travel! After that I was obsessed with the idea of going to France and seeing this village!
Colmar is a town in the region of Alsace, which is most popular for being a wine region. There are other beautiful villages like Riquewhir, Ribeauville, Freland, Eguisheim, Aubure, etc. that are similar to Colmar. However, Colmar and Riquewhir are the most visited and well known. Riquewhir is listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France, which should tell you enough. The village has picturesque scenic views and historic buildings. Colmar is the heart on Alsace, with cobblestone streets and over the top flower displays. This town also has a plethora of historical neighbourhoods, monuments and canals. That being said, lets look at the similarities between Colmar and Beauty and the Beast.
First it starts off with a little library that Belle uses to borrow books. This was the only library that I remember seeing in the Old Town. Even though the two may look different they both serve the same purpose.
The Water Fountain
In the movie, Belle sits by a fountain and reads a book to the sheep while in song. In Colmar, the beautiful Schwendi fountain is quite similar to the one shown in the movie, however it's a bit fancier. Even the Medieval houses in the background are very similar with the ones from the movie. The houses in Belle's village typically had timber frames on the outside and were very colourful.
The Cobblestone Streets & Medieval/Renaissance Houses
In this frame, Belle is walking down the street and people are whispering about what a nonconformist she is while she walks along a road with colourful medieval houses. In Colmar's Old Town, Quai de la Poissonnerie is a cobblestone road with colourful medieval/renaissance houses lined up along Petit Venise, which look identical to the still shot from the movie.
Below are some other photos from this beautiful village.
Old Town in Colmar is also a great place to wander around and read about the history of the town. Visiting in the summer obviously means more tourists but beautiful flowers and boat rides. Visiting in the late fall means lots of rain but less tourists, so there aren't long cues for pictures. There are a wide range of restaurants serving French, Mediterranean, Italian and Japanese foods.
The best part is just walking around. Old Town has lots of great shopping, for those interested. Most people stay on the main streets but be sure to wander down the quieter streets.
Getting to some of the other villages can be tricky because the buses don't run often. However, if you would like to visit them the best option for you would be to rent a car or call a taxi. The villages are all pretty similar, so you aren't missing much. If you are a wine over, Riquewhir would be a great place to visit in the warmer months as there is a vineyard in the old town.
The best times to visit Colmar's Old Town would be in the summer months and in the winter. In the summer there are tons of beautiful flowers and boat rides. In the winter there are Christmas events, trees and beautiful lights. Colmar is definitely a sight to see if you are in France.
What is your favourite fairytale village?
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