Although locals most refer to it as a cathedral, Colmar was never truly the seat of a bishop and therefore cannot be called as such; it really is more of a rather large collegiate church dedicated to Saint Martin than anything else. It was a cathedral for less than a decade during the French revolution, hence the name of the square on which it is located. Built in the late 13th century in this iconic pink sandstone that is endemic to Alsace, the Saint Martin’s collegiate church is one of the most important Gothic works in Alsace and was even made a historic monument in 1840. A major fire in 1572 destroyed the framework, the south tower, and the roof. The 71-meter high tower was rebuilt shortly after in a lantern shape, a characteristic feature that make the church instantly recognizable. Archeological works dug out remains from the Carolingian era in 1972, and discovered foundations of a previous church from the Romanesque times. The church boasts several noteworthy features, including a massive Baroque organ, a typically Alsatian ambulatory, and two distinctly antisemitic images that act like a testament to the lost Jews of World War II.
The cathedral is accessible by car as there are two small outdoor parking lots on either side of it. The best way to get there from the A35 motorway is D418, rue Étroite, and rue des Prêtres. The train station is 1.3 kilometers from the Cathedral via Avenue de la République and rue des Marchands. There are no admission fees. The cathedral is open from 8:30am to 6:30pm between December and April, and from 8:30am to 7pm from May to November, with the exception of Sunday mornings and offices.