Musee Unterlinden (Unterlinden Museum), Colmar

Musee Unterlinden (Unterlinden Museum), Colmar (must see)

Matthias Grunewald was a painter of the German Renaissance. Only ten of his paintings and thirty-five drawings survived. The rest of his work was lost at sea while carried off by the Swedish army as booty. His masterpiece, the Isenheim Altarpiece of 1516, was spared. It has found a forever home in the Unterlinden Museum of Colmar (Musee Unterlinden), Alsace.

The museum, established in 1849, is housed in a 13th-century Dominican convent and a former public bath built in 1906. The convent, abandoned after the French Revolution, was saved by the Schongauer Society in 1847. Today, it is a French Museum visited by 200,000 visitors a year. It is one of the most well-known museums in Alsace.

In the beginning, the Unterlinden Museum's collection featured Roman mosaics discovered in Bergheim and sculptures loaned by the Louvre. In 1852 Grunewald's Altarpiece arrived. The altarpiece, along with other painted and sculpted altarpieces from Rhenish churches, abbeys, and monasteries, was installed in the old convent. The museum opened in 1853.

The need for more space appeared as the museum collections expanded significantly in the 1950s and 1980s. The city of Colmar added the nearby Neo-Baroque public bath building as a museum annex in 2015. The total area open to the public is 86,000 square feet.

The museum houses a considerable collection of Rhenish medieval and Renaissance art, including its crown jewel, Grunewald's Altarpiece. Martin Schongauer, a notable engraver and painter, is represented by altarpieces, drawings, engravings, and woodcuts. Other names are Albrecht Durer, Lucas Cranach, Hans Holbein, Caspar Isenmann, Jost Haller and Wilhelm Stetter.

Anonymous early German, Alsation, and Swiss masters, especially the Master of the Stauffenberg Altarpiece, are represented. Some sections of the museum are dedicated to archeology, Medieval, Baroque, and Renaissance sculpture, stained glass, weapons, music, and toys. Further expansion is contemplated.

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Musee Unterlinden (Unterlinden Museum) on Map

Sight Name: Musee Unterlinden (Unterlinden Museum)
Sight Location: Colmar, France (See walking tours in Colmar)
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
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.
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
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