Things to see and do - Basel
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Weekend in Basel :
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Weekend in Basel
Weekend in BaselPedestrian, Public Transport, 16 km, 2 days
Situated very near Mulhouse, Basel is one of the liveliest and most enthralling cities in Switzerland. It’s worth visiting every year to visit its exceptional museums, as well as to enjoy the charm of a town so full of resources!Customise this route and add it to My travel book
This attractive building erected in the early 16C in a late Gothic style, and subsequently enlarged and restored, has a façade richly decorated with frescos and flanked with a modern belfry. A statue of Munatius Plancus, founder of the town, stands imposingly in the inner courtyard, which is also decorated with attractive frescos.
Old Basel, with several interesting monuments to visit including the cathedral, is worth a trip above all for its atmosphere, its very picturesque medieval streets and squares such as Andreasplatz, Spalenberg or Petersgasse. Here you will find several attractive fountains, including that of Holbein (16C), together with the monumental Spalen Gate (13 -14C), decorated with the coats of arms of the city.
This huge building, built of red sandstone, partly rebuilt in the 14 and 15C, and restored in the 19C, is topped with two Gothic towers from which there is a lovely view over the city. The main door is decorated with delicate sculptures of angels and prophets; on the left of the building is that of St-Gall, in Romanesque style. The interior has five naves and houses several 11C decorative elements.
This walk, which is limited to the east by Wettsteinbrücke (bridge), offers an attractive view over the old districts of Basel, the palaces and artisan houses which are located at the water's edge.
The origin of Basel Fine Arts Museum is the collection, purchased by the town in 1661, of Basilius Amerbach, a collector whose father was a friend of Erasmus and Holbein. This is where most of the old works exhibited on the ground floor come from (Prints Cabinet) and some of those visible on the first floor. Much space is given to Upper Rhine pictural art from 1400 to 1600 (rooms 1 to 15). After this are the rooms devoted to 17th century Dutch painting: works from the youth of Rembrandt, canvases by Rubens, Ruysdael, etc. The East and North wings house the Romantic painters, German (Wolf) or French (Delacroix, Géricault), together with the impressionists and their followers: Monet, Pissarro, Sisley, Cézanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, etc. The second floor is the domain of the 20 th century artistic trends: cubism with Braque, Picasso and Gris; fauvism with Matisse; expressionism with, notably, Franz Marc and Nolde; surrealism with Dalí, Mirò, etc.; abstract art with Arp, Mondrian but also Klee and Kandinsky. To finish, American art since 1945 occupies a choice place with great names from the New York school (Franz Kline, Mark Rothko), Minimal Art (Frank Stella) and Pop Art (Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol).
The sculptor Jean Tinguely (1925-1991), an ex-pupil of Basel Fine Art School, created this fountain which enlivens the esplanade of the municipal theatre with its water games. The nine jointed metal creations of the huge water feature humorously depict man's futile agitation...
In the heart of the city, this huge animal park with an international reputation has become specialised in the reproduction of threatened species. An area is devoted to young animals, another to the vivarium. There are picnic areas, restaurants and games for children available to the public, who particularly appreciate the attractions of the wild animals' and sea-lions' meals, and the introduction to the elephants.
This district owes its name to the oldest monastery in Basel (1083) of which only one wing of the Romanesque cloister remains, now incorporated in a residential house. Several mills bear witness to its specialisation after the creation of a canal by the monks in the 12C. In several locations traces of the old fortifications of the town, destroyed in 1860 and afterwards, are still visible.
Housed in part of the Wettsteinhaus, a former manor that has been magnificently restored that once belonged to Johann Rudolf Wettstein, burgermaster of Bâle 1645-1666. The museum traces the development of techniques and tastes for toys and games, from puppets and dolls to magic lanterns, figurines to board games. A pleasure for all, big and small.
Created by gallery owner Ernst Beyeler, this museum, designed by architect Renzo Piano, contains nearly 180 masterpieces of 20C painting and sculpture. All the major movements of the period are represented: Post Impressionism and Cubism (Cézanne, Van Gogh, Picasso), Abstract art (Kandinsky), Abstract Expressionism (Rothko), Pop Art. Pride of place is given to Swiss artist Giacometti and the British painter Francis Bacon.