Ancienne Douane (Old Custom House), Colmar

Ancienne Douane (Old Custom House), Colmar (must see)

Also known as the Koifhus, the Old Custom House (Ancienne Douane) is located at the intersection of the two medieval roads of the city, High Street (Grand Rue) and Merchants Street (Rue des Marchands). The present building, planned in 1433, was not completed until 1480. Annexes and add-ons of the 16th century made the house precarious by the 19th century. Demolition was in order.

But restoration, from 1895 to 1898, happened instead. The turret and glazed tiles are from that time. In 2002, the old sandstone balustrade was restored. The building was used as a warehouse and as an import-export tax center. The Federation of the Ten Imperial Cities of Alsace of 1534 met there. After the French Revolution, change came.

Commercial privileges were abolished. In 1840 the building was home to a theatre. In 1848 it was the first office of the discount bank. The Koifhus housed the Chamber of Commerce and boys' schools until 1930. Today it is a venue for public activities and events.

Jean Rapp, a French general and consul during the Napoleonic Wars, was born in the Old Custom House. His father was a janitor there. Rapp was known for his daring in battle and his sense of honor. There is a plaque on the Old Custom House for him. A statue of Jean Rapp, made by sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, stands in the Field of Mars Park (Parc Champ de Mars).

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Colmar. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Ancienne Douane (Old Custom House) on Map

Sight Name: Ancienne Douane (Old Custom House)
Sight Location: Colmar, France (See walking tours in Colmar)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Colmar, France

Create Your Own Walk in Colmar

Create Your Own Walk in Colmar

Creating your own self-guided walk in Colmar is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Bartholdi's Statues in Colmar

Bartholdi's Statues in Colmar

Auguste Bartholdi is one of the most famous artists from Colmar. His works, such as the Lion of Belfort in Belfort, France, and the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor, are known around the world. Colmar is decorated with open-air pieces sculpted by the artist.

Many of Bartholdi's statues are found in fountains that occupy spaces in city squares or on significant street corners. Some of...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.9 Km or 3.7 Miles
Colmar Introduction Walking Tour

Colmar Introduction Walking Tour

Charlemagne was well acquainted with Colmar in his wars with the Saxons from 772 to 804 AD. Carolingian emperor Charles the Fat held an assembly there in 884. It was a free imperial city under Emperor Frederick II in 1226. Captured and held by Sweden in 1632, it was conquered at last by Louis XIV of France in 1673.

In 1871 it was annexed by the German Empire as a result of the Franco-Prussian...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 Km or 0.9 Miles