Basel, Foto/Photo: TES.

City History set in Stone

Every street corner in the centre of (ancient) Basel, Basilea, has its history. On the hill of the Münster, the cathedral, the Celts built a defensive wall, the murus gallus, in the first century BC.

The Romans founded the Colonia Augusta Raurica around 44 BC as a defence against the Germanic tribes on the other side of the Rhine.

The growth of Basel only began after the departure of the Roman legions in 410 AD and the invasions of the Alemanni. The bishop had his seat in Augusta Raurica but moved to the hill of Basel in the fifth century.

After that, Basel’s history, growth and prosperity took their course. The Historical Museum in the Barfüsserkerk has set the city’s history in stone. The sandstone reliefs between the 15th and 18th centuries were mounted on public buildings, churches, taverns or private homes.

They attest to those buildings’ history, owners, burghers or other stories. Many of them are the remains of buildings that have since disappeared.

(Source and further information:

City centre 19th century. Collection: Historisches Museum Basel