Atlantis Alumni

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Trip To Colmar

There’s a convenient train from Strasbourg to Colmar. We had last been to that other fascinating city of Alsace many years ago. This time we took a taxi from the Train Station in Colmar to the d’Unterderlinden Museum. This museum, located in a former monastery, features many Medieval paintings from the Rhine River School, and numerous examples of interiors and decorative/practical arts from later periods. Everything from Renaissance locks to great bells, a Gothic paneled wooden room, and more fills the rooms of the musee. But the greatest treasure –and the reason for our return—is the famed Issenheim Altarpiece, painted by the great German painter Mathias Grunewald 500 years ago, in 1512. This Gothic masterpiece, in many panels, shows such scenes as the Crucifixion, the Resurrection of Christ and the Temptation of St. Anthony. All are painted in glowing colors, in a pre-Expressionistic style. Saintly figures glow and demons glower in the world of the amazing Grunewald. After studying the altarpiece, we saw a few other attractions in Colmar, including the Dominican church with its Schongauer painting of the Virgin in a rose garden, and outside the church a stork. Storks are now returning to the region, and have perched on roofs and trees for centuries in northern Europe. We also bought bread at a market near the church. The main catheedral, St. Martin's, also was built in the Gothic style. We returned to Strasbourg for a rich lunch of Alsatian food, such as a salad covered with melted Munster cheese and pike quenelles, which are almost like dumplings, and are served with spatzel. The local food is delicious and very hearty. Jim's pictures include the outside of the art museum, the Crucifixion by Grunewald, a stork and the interior of the Cathedral. –Dan

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