Of all the Statue of Liberty replicas in the world, only one is located in a traffic roundabout in the celebrated statue’s sculptor’s hometown.
Colmar is a remarkably well-preserved medieval city, replete with half-timbered buildings and charming canals, in the French frontier region of Alsace. Part of the historically important Rhine Valley and a cultural crossroads between France and Germany, Alsace became a part of the German Empire after France lost the Franco-Prussian war in 1871.
The change in Colmar’s fortunes stoked the 36-year-old Auguste Bartholdi’s interest in republican ideals (such as, just for example, LIBERTY), leading to his first visit to the U.S. and his subsequent creation of the Statue of Liberty, which would occupy him from 1875 until its installation in 1886.
Bartholdi died of tuberculosis in Paris in 1904. Colmar remained proud of its famous native son, turning the sculptor’s family home into a museum dedicated to his work, and erecting a quarter-scale version of his most famous work in 2004, to commemorate the centennial of his passing.
The copper-green resin replica stands 12 meters (39 feet) high in the middle of a busy roundabout at the north end of town. So whether you’re driving in from Strasbourg on the D83, or heading into town from the Colmar airport, you’ll be welcomed by a lovingly rendered homage to the work of a local boy who made good.
Know Before You Go
Intersection of D83 and D201 on north side of city