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Best Landmarks in Basel

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Located along the Zihl river, the Nidau castle is the landmark of the city. The Gothic and Romanesque features of its architecture are plainly visible in the tall spires and rounded stone towers. The castle was originally built of wood in the early 12th century and a decade later was remodeled in stone. The castle houses the Nidau museum which showcases interesting exhibits that give an insight into the culture and history of the region and the castle itself.

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.

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.

Kloster Mariastein is serene, tranquil, gorgeous and spiritual! The site of this elegant monastery-church is one of the most beautiful locations in the municipality of Metzerlen-Mariastein. It is the second most visited pilgrimage spot in Switzerland. Popularly known as the Benedictine Monastery Church, it is laden with a pretty facade, intriguing rock caves, silent prayer rooms and an erstwhile treasury that is said to have housed the rarest of rare gems. Besides being a top religious spot, Kloster Mariastein is a splendid venue for musical evenings and cultural festivals. Its VIP rooms, meeting rooms, lounge and library are available for public usage.

A magnificent castle in Thunstetten municipality, Thunstetten Castle was constructed as a manor house between 1711 and 1713. Constructed for Hieronymus von Erlach, the castle was built to the designs of noted architect Joseph Abeille. Erlach family owned the castle till 1746. Its upkeep went to the Stiftung Schloss Thunstetten in the year 1971. Presently, Thunstetten Castle remains a popular venue for meetings or events where certain rooms or even the entire citadel can be booked for events.

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. Works by Witz, Schongauer, Cranach, Grünewald and others showcase renaissance's rich artistic traditions. 19th-century art is also featured here 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 well as abstract expressionist and pop artworks. The building itself is almost cubic. Located near the Wettsteingbridge, it also houses a library and copper-plate engraving cabinet.

The Bottmingen Castle looks dreamy with its circular towers topped with conical roofs. Included in the list of Heritage Sites of National Significance of Switzerland, the structure is set amidst tranquil surroundings, immediate of which are a beautiful pond and the Castle gardens. The structure houses a restaurant and is also a venue for weddings and other events thanks to its serene location. Visit their website for details about booking, amongst others.

Located in the heart of Muttenz, the Fortified Church of St. Arbogast is a nationally significant heritage site and a popular tourist attraction of the historic town. Dating back to the late Middle ages, the church is unique with respect to its architecture as its fortified wall ramparts are the only of its kind found in the country. The church today consists of a remarkable clock tower, a charnal house and a beautifully maintained lawn garden. A definite must visit for architecture and history enthusiasts.

The Tour de Moron was designed by Mario Botta, whose other famous architectural designs include the Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista in Mogno and the City and State Library in Dortmund. The tower, which is located on Valbirse, a mountain in the canton of Berne, was dreamed up as a project to promote masonry and to give Swiss masonry apprentices a chance to try their hand at crafting a landmark. The spiraling design of the tower, which was crafted out of steel, limestone and concrete, is both playful and impressive. Visitors who ascend this unique structure are afforded a magnificent view of the surrounding landscape. Hour and a half long tours are offered to visitors who wish to explore the tower and learn more about its construction.

The sound of thundering water accompanies you on your hike through the deeply cut shady gorge. The stream searches for a route through the narrow bed and has even partially undercut the nearly vertical walls of the mountain. The hiking path itself was also hewn in the rock faces in many places - visitors should make sure they have a good foothold.

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