A taste of Basel, Switzerland - Part 2
by, 06-22-2011 at 02:34 PM (2327 Views)
Today's set of pictures is only from the most famous landmark in Basel. It is the Münster, seen in almost any postcard that is sold. It dates back to 1180 A.D. and is visited by tourists year-round. Here's a write up I found:
From what I read, there was a bad earthquake in the 1300s that brought down five spires. Imagine that mess. I've known the Münster my whole life, and may have climbed one of the towers as a child but never since. The massive courtyard surrounding the church is used for outdoor entertainment, such as live bands or outdoor Cinema late at night. There are chestnut trees creating shade for the summer months. The view is lovely.
As is usual, part of the red sandstone is being renovated.
There is an inner courtyard that used to be used for selling for fruit and vegetables. One bronze example.
The cloister area that surrounds this courtyard bears many plaques, most likely by those that donated to the building or restoration of the Minster. There are literally 100s of these epitaphs on the walls, and even these are cleaned up as need be.
Above me in this picture, a family plaque bears my grandparent's ancient name. I was told that my mother's side of the family are descendants of the Crusaders.
A few interesting views from the cloister.
It's interesting when you get a closer look at the patterns of the shingles. They may be ceramic or maybe metal, I have no idea.
Going inside this monumental structure, you simply can't overlook the romanesque stonework. It's quite cool inside, and somewhat dark. This view looks toward the stained-glass windows.
And this view looks the opposite way toward the enormous organ pipes.
Within the church, there are some tombs at a few key locations. You can also walk downstairs below the riser section to find another smaller chamber that may be used for prayer.
The two persons depicted appear to be Moses and Christ.
Visiting hours are daily, and it costs nothing. Some people were praying, but photography wasn't discouraged. You can purchase a few mementos or pay to climb the stairs inside one of the two spires.