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 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.
Located in the unassuming little town of Dornach, the Goetheanum building is a world famous architectural and cultural landmark built by Rudolf Steiner as the international center of the Anthroposophical Society. Combing the aspects of spirituality and inner development, this popular philosophy attracted a number of thinkers, artists, sculptors, musicians and actors who contributed by working on the new building after the old one was destroyed by fire or performing in the neighboring venues to raise funds. The center today consists of a library, art gallery, exhibition spaces, stunningly decorated performance halls, a bookstore, conference rooms and educational facilities frequently used for cultural events, theater festivals and many other functions. A protected Swiss landmark, it offers guided tours to visitors daily during its opening hours. For further information, visit the official website.
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.
Dating back to 1867, the City of Basel Music Academy is a renowned musical institution specializing in classical music and providing a healthy and competitive environment for talented students to nurture their skills. Associated with the University of Applied Sciences Northwest Switzerland, it has housed a number of notable alumni and teachers over the years with names like Hans Huber, Hans Munch, Werner Güra, Nuria Rial and many others. It provides musical education at all levels and also a center for research and performance.
Located adjacent to the Saint Johnnespark on the Rhine riverbank, the Gate of Saint John in Basel is a popular tourist attraction and an a Swiss heritage site. It is one of the three last remaining getaways in the city.