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Colmar

Forget that much of Colmar's architecture is modern (because of the destruction wrought by World Wars I and II): its Vieille Ville heart—an atmospheric maze of narrow streets lined with candy-color, half-timber Renaissance houses hanging over cobblestone lanes in a disarmingly ramshackle way—out-charms Strasbourg. Each shop-lined backstreet winds its way to the 15th-century customs house, the Ancienne Douane, and the square and canals that surround it.

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