Commemorations

Basel, Predigerkirche. Photo/foto: TES.

750 Years Predigerkirche Basel

The Predigerkirche (Church of Preachers) in Basel celebrates its 750th anniversary of its consecration in 2019. The Dominicans came to Basel in 1233. This order lived according to the vow of poverty, and most members were well educated. They focused on preaching and proclaiming the word of God, hence the name ordo praedicatorum, Order of Preachers.

They were open to new cultural developments, and the Predigerkirche in Basel was one of the first on the Upper Rhine to introduce the Gothic style. On 9 September 1269, the Bishop of Regensburg, Albertus Magnus (1220-1280), consecrated the altars of the church.

The Council of Basel (1431-1449) was also an initiative of the Dominicans, and their monastery initially played a crucial role as a meeting point and celebrating masses. This council was of significant influence on the development of humanism on the Upper Rhine and the economic development of Basel, among others the paper-, printing- and publishing industry. Basel also owes its university (1460) to this Council.

The Predigerkirche was part of a large monastery complex. The famous Dance of Death (Basler Totentanz of c. 1440, destroyed in 1805) was depicted on the walls of the lay cemetery. The Dominican sisters were located on the other side of the Rhine (Kleinbasel) in the monastery Klein Klingental. Both monasteries were confiscated by the city in 1525-1529. The Predikerkirche is the centre of the Christ Catholic Kirche Basel City nowadays. (Source and further information: www.ckk-bs.ch).