Discover Germany, Issue 39, June 2016

Page 45

Special Theme

Basel City Special

The cultural capital of Switzerland With an outstanding variety of sights and museums, the city of Basel celebrates its cultural heritage. This attracts many visitors to discover the city and its beautiful surroundings in the three-state area. TEXT: MONIQUE AMEND

Basel is located in the very north of Switzerland and is home to around 175,000 people. The surrounding area is filled with blooming cherry trees in the spring and, because of its location right in the three-state area, it is only a short trip to see Germany’s Black Forest and the French countryside. The residents enjoy their picturesque city as well as many tourists every year. The river Rhine crosses the city and is a great meeting and leisure point in the summer, which contributes to Basel’s romantic character. The diverse offering of cultural sights makes the third biggest Swiss city quite unique. There are many historical landmarks in Basel, among

them the great marketplace with the richly ornamented town hall made out of red sandstone or the late Romantic Gothic Cathedral. The old town is characterised by a great mixture of small boutiques, antique book stores and modern buildings designed by well-known international architects. Basel and its people are aware of their traditions and celebrate them but, at the same time, they keep an open mind for innovations and foreign customs. The numerous parks and botanical gardens as well as the bank of the Rhine provide some room to relax. Small boats on the river make it possible to discover the city from a different perspective.

With almost 40 museums, Basel has the highest density of museums in the whole country and therefore can really call itself the cultural capital. The Museum of Cultures houses the biggest collection of European and non-European cultures on the continent. The Museum of Art is one of the oldest, public art collections that includes the biggest collection of Holbein pieces. The museum dedicated to Swiss painter and sculptor Jean Tinguely shows many of his metal sculptures and his general work. Numerous galleries and small theatres contribute to the city’s cultural entertainment programme, too. Main Photo: Early morning on the Rhine in Basel. © Switzerland Tourism, Andreas Zimmermann. From top left: On the market square. © Switzerland Tourism, Gian Marco Castelberg & Maurice Haas. The Museum Tinguely. © Switzerland Tourism, Serge Haseboehler. Evening mood at the Rhine. © Switzerland Tourism, Andreas Gerth. View over the city from the two towers of the cathedral. © Switzerland Tourism, Christof Schuerpf.

Issue 39 | June 2016 | 45