Basel – Switzerland’s capital of art and culture Nestling in the heart of Europe in the three countries corner where Switzerland, Germany and France meet, Basel is a pocket-sized metropolis that combines proverbial Swiss quality with a multicultural population. More than 40 museums with their long-established collections and spectacular special exhibitions are the foundation of Basel's reputation as a city of art and museums.

Highlights in Basel

Religious sites
Overnight at a monestary
Christmas Markets

From the church council to reformation

But along with those gems of modern architecture you will find buildings dating back to the Middle Age like the Cathedral. With its red sandstone walls, multicoloured roof tiles and twin towers, it is a dominant feature of the city. The crypt, the choir, the tomb of Erasmus of Rotterdam, the Galluspforte and the two cloisters are a testimony to the eventful history of its construction over a period of several centuries. Christianity became established in the Basel region in the late Roman era. Documents exist which mention bishops from Augusta Raurica, a Roman civil town located roughly 10 km upstream. From the 8th century onwards the names of all bishops who resided in Basel are known. In 1529, Basel fully converted to the Protestant faith. The bishop and cathedral chapter left the city, but the Cathedral remained one of the most popular sights. Today, mediaeval churches are found side by side with modern buildings designed by major international architects, such as Herzog & de Meuron or Renzo Piano.

The cradle of the Jewish State

The First Zionist Congress was the inaugural congress of the Zionist Organization held in Basel in 1897. It was convened and chaired by Theodor Herzl, the founder of the modern Zionism movement, as a symbolic parliament for the small minority of Jewry in agreement with the implementation of Zionist goals. The congress formulated a Zionist platform, known as the Basel programme, and founded the Zionist Organization. Still today, lots of people come to have a look at the balcony of the Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois, where Herzl stayed during the congress. And between the Marktplatz and the synagogue visitors of the city can find many traces of Jewish life from the Middle Ages to the present day.

The international Museum of the Reformation

This museum is a must-see for religious visitors that come to Geneva, Switzerland. It begins with an emphasis on the Bible and includes some of the oldest French and English Bibles. Unique objects, manuscripts, rare books, engravings and paintings illustrate the close ties of Geneva and John Calvin to the Reformation.
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Overnight in a Monastery

Experience how it is to live in a monastery and overnight in one of the various abbeys and monasteries in Switzerland that offer simple accommodation. Some even offer their own mountain hut refuge to rent, like the convent of St.John in Muestair
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The pilgrimage way of St. James along Switzerland’s breathtaking mountain scenery.

Walk or cycle on St. James' footsteps, following his ways through the breathtaking mountain scenery of Switzerland to Santiago de Compostela. Take your time to visit some of the traditional pilgrims' stations.
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Christmas markets.

The Christmas season will soon be here again.. as well as the traditional Christmas markets in Switzerland. Montreux is home to the largest one, Bremgarten (Aargau) to one of the biggest ones in terms of vendors. The highest one can be visited on Mt. Pilatus. Others can be found in Huttwil (Bern), Zürich or Basel.
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Basel Region
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Travel information: Basel

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