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From 823 to 1499 - From its founding to its medieval period

823 :

First mention of Colmar
The fisc of Columbarium

833 :

Unhappy with the arrangements made for the succession, Louis, Lothar and Pepin, depose their father, Louis the Pious, in the Lügenfel, the so-called field of lies, situated near Colmar. They receive the backing of Pope Gregory, who visited the domain of Colmar in July 833.

883 :

Charles 3rd, known as Charles the Fat, holds an assembly of all the Franks in January of 883 and then again in February 884. All the important figures in the Empire were invited, representing the countries between the Meuse and the Elbe as well as those from over the Alps and from the north of Italy.

Crucifixion du missel de Murbach

Crucifixion, missel de l´abbaye de Murbach, vers 1200. Bibliothèque Municipale de Colmar.

Ca. 965 :

The Oberhof ("upper court"), part of the old royal Carolingian domain, comes under the Clunisian monastery of Payerne (situated in the Swiss canton of Vaud), while a second part, the Niederhof (lower court), becomes the property of Bishop Conrad of Constance, who gave it to the cathedral chapter of his Episcopal town.


Ca. 1000 :


Archaeological digs carried out in 1972 in St. Mark´s church revealed that Colmar had its own "millennium church", made up of a square apse, a transept 19 metres long and 8 metres wide, along with a nave 15 metres long, consisting of a central body flanked by two aisles.


1002 :

Brunon of Eguisheim, the future Pope Leo IX, is born in Eguisheim, a few miles outside Colmar. Leo IX was the only Alsatian Pope and was canonised shortly after his death. Architectural digs carried out in 1972 in St. Martin´s church revealed that Colmar had a millennium church, made up of a square-shaped apse, a transept measuring 19 metres by 8 and a nave 15 metres long consisting of a central section flanked by two aisles.


1006 :

Colmar is destroyed by a fire


1153 :

On 30 January, Frederick Barbarossa stops off at Colmar for the first time. He would return in 1156, 1179 and 1186.


1212 :

King Philip of Swabia passes through Colmar.


1226 :

Documents cite Colmar as a city for the first time, a few years after being made an imperial town by Frederick II of Hohenstaufen.


1234 :

The building of St. Martin´s collegiate church starts, to be finished in 1365.



1235 :

Emperor Frederick II visits the city and, according to the chronicler of the Colmar Dominicans, makes a big impression with the camels included in his imperial baggage.


1262 :

Provost Jean Roesselmann, who had freed the inhabitants of Colmar from the yoke of the Bishop of Strasbourg the previous year, fights off a fresh attack by the latter, but at the cost of his own life.


1278 :

King Rudolph of Hapsburg gives Colmar its civil rights.

Saint Francis and Saint Dominic, breviary for the laity, 15th century Library of the Protestant Consistory of Colmar

>>The Colmar civil rights charter

Graduel dominicain XIVe s. Ms 317 fol. 85r

1293 :

Colmar rises up unsuccessfully against Adolf of Nassau.


1295 :

The city´s first town hall.


1337 :

First mention of Ladhof, the port of Colmar


Ladhof, the port of Colmar, stands some two kilometers to the north of the city, at the confluence of the Thur and the Lauch, at the spot where the river Ill becomes navigable. First mentions of Ladhof appeared in 1337, and it continued to be used as a port until the 18th century. Goods were loaded onto boats for Strasbourg and then taken on along the Rhine right up to Amsterdam. Colmar merchants would sail up the Rhine once a year to the great fairs in Frankfurt. Ladhof, literally "the place where merchandise is loaded", was the port for their wine, vinegar and schnapps and was also used for unloading iron utensils and the salted and smoked fish which was greatly prized in Colmar.

Ca.1340 :

Catherine of Gueberschwihr describes the life of the nuns of the Dominican convent of Unterlinden.


1354 :

Foundation of the Décapole, a Federation of the ten Alsatian cities, with Colmar at its head.


1360 :

Colmar adopts a stable constitution, with the city being governed by its burghers and members of the guilds.


1376 :

The city wins the right to mint its own coinage


1389 :

Colmar is chosen by Robert de Capoue, Grand Master of the Dominicans, as the base for the Dominican reform aimed at bringing the order back to a stricter observance of the rules and spirit of the original constitutions in the Domincan province of Teutonia.

1403 :

The city joins the Rappen-münzbund monetary alliance.


1418 :

The bubonic plague strikes Colmar.


1473 :

Martin Schongauer paints the Virgin of the Rose Bower for St. Martin´s collegiate church.

1480 :

The Koïfhus or Customs House is completed. The building has a triple use, as a store for Colmar merchants and tradesmen, as a customs office for the city to levy its duties and taxes and also as an assembly room for the Décapole representatives.


IMG 3034

Martin Schongauer´s Virgin of the Rose Bower, 1473. Colmar Dominican church.