Arlesheim, Ermitage. Photo/Foto: TES.

English Garden Arlesheim

Arlesheim was the seat of the chapter of the Prince-Bishopric Basel. The was expelled from Basel in the Reformation (1525-1529). The Dom (1678) and chapter houses are silent witnesses of this history.

The Prince-Bishopric was part of the Holy Roman Empire (the city of Basel was a member of the Eidgenossen and did not belong to the Reich). The Ermitage was created in 1785 by the chaplain Heinrich von Ligertz and Balbina von Andlau-von Staal (1736-1798).

It is the largest English garden on Swiss soil and meant as solitude romantique près d’Arlesheim. The ruins of Birseck castle, the Felsentor, the old and the new mill, the tobacco press and the three ponds are important features of the garden.

French troops occupied the Prince-Bishopric and Arlesheim in 1793 and destroyed the castle. It was a blessing as far as it concerns the concept because the ruins gave the real English touch. (Further information: