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.
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 work by 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 walk through. Children and adults alike love this museum and various exhibitions which highlight works by other artists similar to Tinguely complement the permanent exhibits. Check website for more details.
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.
Built in 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 at anytime with curious tourists and passersby.
Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig is entirely devoted to the historical origins and the development of art in the Mediterranean region. A range of special displays and temporary exhibitions make for a worth trip back into the history of the region. You will find a range of exotic displays ranging from 4B.C to 6 A.D that will allow you to delve deeper into Roman, Egyptian, Greek and Etruscan cultures.
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.
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 humorous 15th-century figures. The originals can be viewed in the Museum of History.
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.
Basel's Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel honors and exhibits every child's first playmate and best friend- dolls and teddy bears. With over 6000 on display at this museum, everyday scenes from the life of dolls have been recreated with love and a fantastic flair. At Puppenhausmuseum the exhibits certainly inspire the same magical fascination as in childhood. The four floors with around 1000 square meters (10,763 square feet) of dolls will make anyone feel nostalgic. After visiting this museum, you'll go home, throw out the new computer game, find your old teddy and return him to his rightful place.
The Barfüsserplatz's Historisches Museum Basel is located in a historical building, the Barfüsserkirche. One of the largest museums of Switzerland, the highlights of the museum are the Basel Minster Treasure, various impressive glass paintings, and fragments of the Basel Dance of Death from the disappeared cemetery wall of the Predigerkloster. Historisches Museum Basel has a huge exhibition area of 6200 meters (20,341 feet).