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Best Historic Locations in Basel

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Gate of Spalen

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.

Basel, Switzerland
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Basel Town Hall

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.

Basel, Switzerland
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Das Basler Münster

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.

Basel, Switzerland
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Kunstmuseum Basel

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.

Basel, Switzerland
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Römerstadt Augusta Raurica

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'.

Augst, Switzerland
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