Basel: Münster

Basler Münster is the local name for the Basel Cathedral, and is a central attraction for the city. Considered a cultural heritage site of national significance, its red sandstone facade, twin towers and coloured roof tiles are the result of a mixed history. Built between 1019 and 1500 in Romanesque and Gothic styles, the building was partially destroyed  by an earthquake in 1356. Rebuilt soon after, and then extended in 1421, it was worked on by architects involved with other cathedrals of the region, including those at Freiburg, Ulm and Strasbourg.

The central space of the cathedral is large and spacious, thanks to the gothic architecture, which aims to create a sense of spaciousness, light and elevation.

It is possible to access the towers (Georgeturm and Martinturm as they are known) – but be warned-  it requires climbing up 242 stairs. It’s worth the effort, however. The view Basel, with the foothills of the Black Forest and the Jura Mountains in the background, is stunning.

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Münster was a highlight of the trip to Basel, and I would recommend paying to access the towers. Even the full price would have been worth it, but I was glad to be able to communicate (thank you to all those in Basel who speak some level of French) enough to benefit from the student discount. We were blessed with a sunny day and reasonably clear skies, making for a wonderful view over the city and the Rhine.

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