Built in the middle of a lake, the charming and historic castle of Bottmingen offers customers a beautiful and romantic experience unlike any other. Dating back to the 14th Century, this Swiss mansion has been carefully preserved and elegantly renovated in the past few years with the opening of a fine dining restaurant, a wedding venue and lovely terrace gardens. Famous for its sumptuous French cuisine, the castle's restaurant offers a prix fixe menu along with a normal one, with dishes such as the Vivers lamb, Chateaubriand, Marinated Loch Fyne salmon, Porcini flan with parsley and the lip-smacking desserts sure to leave your taste buds in amazement and wonder. It also an excellent location for functions such as weddings, parties, corporate dinners and other events with lavishly decorated rooms seating 8 to 300 guests and an attentive, courteous service by the friendly staff. It is especially worth visiting during Christmas when the castle is lit up with stunning decorations.
Dating back to the 14th century, the towers of the Rathaus or Town Hall, dominate the skyline of Basel. Through the centuries, this building underwent a series of renovations being expanded and painted over by the artist Hans Bock. The present-day Rathaus has mixed elements of Art Nouveau style and the Renaissance Style. An often photographed building, this place is crowded anytime with curious tourists and passersby.
In 1980 Basel hosted a garden show with the not very imaginative title of Green 80. This name stuck in the public's imagination and was also applied to the botanical gardens. The original name comes from a homestead, the remains of which are still visible. The small nearby castle, which served as Christoph Merian's summer residence, is now a cafe. The huge area of the park is ideal for sports, and kids love the enormous dinosaur statue (affectionately known as Dino), who quietly lets everything pass over him.
One of the most well-known works of Jean Tinguely is this fountain, which he called 'Composition of the Six Elements'. The avant-garde artist and husband of the sculptress Niki de Saint Phalle became famous through his machine sculptures. These consist not only of pieces of plastic and scrap welded and screwed together, but they also move and make noise. In the fountain project, Tinguely gained one more element, namely water.
Ernst Beyeler is without doubt one of the world's most renowned gallery owners and collectors. Rarely do you find the work of so many masters under one roof. Beyeler, with the help of his wife Hildy, has accumulated over 180 modern classics. Important works by Cézanne, Van Gogh, Picasso, Warhol and Bacon highlight the collection. The museum shop offers a wide range of high quality books, art cards and special design objects.
Who knows if Jean Tinguely would have believed, had you told him that his creations would once be housed in such noble rooms? The museum building was opened by Mario Botta in 1996 and is sponsored by the local chemical company, Hoffman La Roche. Even the garden of the tower houses works of Tinguely in the shape of a fountain. A bigger version can be found on the Theaterplatz. Tinguely loved to make things, and the museum is full of his moving machine sculptures and sculptures that you can sometimes walkthrough. Children and adults alike love this museum and various exhibitions which highlight works by other artists similar to Tinguely complement the permanent exhibits.
The expansion of the city in the 19th century meant the end of the medieval walls and its seven entrances. However, the most beautiful of them, the Spalentor, remains. Erected in the 14th century, this gate still possesses a very impressive oak portcullis. Just inside lies a copy of the city's customs decree of 1795, a great piece of history. The gate is adorned with beautiful glass tiles and 15th-century figures. The originals can be viewed in the Museum of History.
The Naturhistorisches Museum (Natural history museum) has been located in this former Augustine monastery since 1849. What began as a collection of curiosities is now a center for science and research. Most of the eight million objects in the colletion are on display, and the museum's strengths lie in paleontology, mineralogy, zoology, entomology and anthropology, but you don't need a degree to visit. The other exhibits, including early man, dinosaurs and insects, will appeal to visitors both young and old.
Emanating from the southeastern Swiss Alps, the mighty and meandering Rhine is one of the most important rivers, not just in Switzerland, but to surrounding countries as well. Voyaging through the center of the city of Basel, it adds to the charm of this old town by providing magnificent backdrops and a marine respite to this landlocked country. The High Rhine, which flows out of Lake Constance, cradles the celestial Rhine Falls, forming an otherworldly canvas of luminescence. Bridges like Vorderrhein, Hinterrhein and Alpenrhein loom over this robust, generous river, which is further ornamented by a melange of canals as it passes by forest-clad hills and lush carpets streaked in green. Today, many power-based industries are based upon the Upper Rhine. This river is much loved by its locals not just for the beauty and aesthetic pleasure it lends, but also because it is indeed a magnanimous source of life.
Freie Strasse is a shopping street that means Free Street in English. This place has a number of shops where you can buy some trendy items for yourself or your loved ones. This street also has quite a few restaurants where you can relax after spending a whole day shopping. During the Middle Ages, people were allowed to transport goods on this street for free. Today, it has become a well-known shopping destination. The street leads to Aeschenvorstadt, Gerbergasse and Marktplatz.
The former barracks is now the number one place for cultural events in Basel. A gaggle of buildings surrounding a meadow hosts diverse exhibitions and all manner of cultural happenings. The complex includes a bar, a restaurant, and a theater/concert space, designed in a lively combination. The meadow is the only real green space in this part of Basel. It is often used as a sports pitch, and on warm summer nights serves the visitors to the events as a relaxing space. And while the theater management constantly succeeds in attracting sought after international companies to Basel, the concert organizers keep a firm eye on the newest trends and alternative groups.