Located at the heart of the city, it is often referred to as “The Heart of Colmar” and has been an important part of its history for centuries.
Originally known as Place de l’Ancien Douane, Old Customs Square was established in 1335 by Emperor Charles IV after he granted permission for merchants to set up their stalls here. This square quickly became a bustling hub of activity and commerce, with traders from all over Europe coming to sell their wares here. The buildings around the square were constructed during this period, including some impressive half-timbered houses that still stand today.
At one end of Old Customs Square stands St Martin’s Church, which dates back to 1517 and was built on the site where an old chapel once stood. Inside you can admire beautiful stained-glass windows depicting scenes from Christian mythology, while outside there are two large stone sculptures that represent Saint George slaying a dragon and Saint Peter holding keys – symbols associated with Colmar since medieval times.
Another notable feature of Old Customs Square is its stunning fountain – Fontaine des Têtes – which dates back to 1609 when it was commissioned by Duke Leopold V d’Austria who ruled over Alsace at that time. It consists of four bronze heads representing different aspects such as justice, strength, and wisdom; each head spouts water into a basin below them, symbolizing life-giving energy being spread throughout the city centre below them.
Today, Old Customs Square remains one of Colmar’s most popular attractions due to its historical significance and picturesque atmosphere – visitors come here not only for sightseeing but also shopping or dining at one of many restaurants located around this area too.