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.
Two slender towers characterize this red sandstone church. Climb at least one to appreciate the stunning view. Although Münster Hill was already inhabited by the time of the Celts, the present late-Roman/early-Gothic building was mostly constructed in the latter part of the 12th century. In 1356, five towers were destroyed in an earthquake. The famed humanist Erasmus of Rotterdam is buried here. The Roman gate is notable for its many old stone figures.
The foundations for the Kunstmuseum were laid when the city of Basel purchased the Amerbachsche Kabinett. This private collection, which boasted works by Holbein among others, was the world's first publicly owned one. Work by Witz, Schongauer, Cranach, Grünewald and others also displays the renaissance's rich artistic traditions. 19th-century art is also featured with Arnold Böcklin's work at the forefront. He did, after all come from Basel. Marble steps take visitors to the museum's upper floors. 20th-century art by greats such as Leger, Braque and Picasso can be found here as can abstract expressionist and pop art pieces. The building itself is almost cubic. Situated near the Wettsteingbridge, it also houses a library and copper-plate engraving cabinet.
The Augusta Raurica is a rich source of information for those interested in learning more about ancient Roman history and civilization. Take a walk down time and experience the baths which have still been maintained like they were, hundreds of years go. The museum is always crowded with school children on educational excursions or with travelers. Also check out the excavations, the silver collection and the 'house zoo'.
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.
Discover the best of Basel, and make Free Walking Tour your travel partner. It provides tours in this lovely city, which borders France and Germany. Downtown Basel, Little Basel, Historic Basel, Modern Art Tour, Tour of Jewish Basel are a few places you will be taken to. Tours go on from 1.5 to 2 hours, and starts on Sundays at 1p. Their tours are not only informative, but also exciting, as you get to explore the culture of the place. You are given background information before you start your trip, so that you get a better understanding of the city.
Basel University Library is located in Basel, Switzerland. The library has a humongous collection of manuscripts, journals, books and documents. The library dates back to the 15th Century. Public access to the internet was made available in the library since the 1990s.
Wildt'sches Haus is placed right in the center of Basel city in close proximity to the university of Basel. This baroque style mansion was built in the year 1764 by Johann Jacob Fechter for Wild's daughter Margaretha. The mansion is well maintained and still retains some of the original furniture and artwork. Beautiful paintings adorn the walls and elegant chandeliers hang from the ceilings, giving the mansion a very regal air. Today the Wildt house is the seat of the Swiss academy of medical sciences and also hosts local events and functions.
Martinskirche or St. Martin's Church dates back to the 12th Century and is considered one of the oldest churches in the region. Though the chancel and the bottom of the tower date back to the 13th Century, the church was majorly damaged in the 1356 earthquake and was rebuilt to its present facade in the later part of the 14th Century. The interiors of this stunning church are adorned with many artifacts collected from over the centuries which lure many art and culture enthusiasts. Besides being a place of worship, this church is a venue for several music concerts.
The Mittlere Brücke, or the Middle Bridge, has come to be an iconic symbol of the city of Basel. The bridge is one of the oldest to span the river Rhine, and is a splendid example of historic architecture and urban design. Although believed to have been built in 1226, the origins of the bridge have been lost in time and its exact date of construction is unknown. Over time, the Mittlere Brücke grew in prominence as an important crossing point for local trade, and later for international trade. In 1905, a new bridge was constructed to replace the historic Mittlere Brücke, although the old bridge still stands as a symbol of the city. For a time, convicts were executed by drowning at the bridge, and a reconstruction of the original Käppelijoch and bridge chapel can be found here today. Several sculptures and public art work can be found around the bridge including Carl Burckhardt's unfinished Amazone, and Ludwig Stocker's Lagerstätte near the first pillar on the Kleinbasel side.