Nigel Hall (1943), Soglio, 1996. Skulpturenpark Schönthal. Foto/Photo: TES.

Monastery and Sculpture Park Schönthal

The exact date of the founding of the Benedictine Monastery Schönthal in the village of Langenbruck (Canton Basel-Landschaft) is unknown. However, a document from 1146 confirms that the founder was Count Adalbero of Froburg.

The consecration of the monastery church took place in 1187. In 1367 the Froburg dynasty ceased to exist, and the right to supervise the monastery passed to Basel in 1400. In 1525 the monastery was plundered and destroyed by local peasants, perhaps inspired by the peasant revolt in Germany.

The monastery was dissolved as a result of the Basel Reformation in 1529. The church and monastery buildings were used as a factory for brick kilns and storehouses for centuries.

The cantons of Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft came into being in 1833. The former monastery was sold to a private owner a few years later by the canton of Basel-Landschaft. The canton placed the monastery church under cantonal monument protection in 1967.

The Schönthal Sculpture Park opened in 2000 and is managed by the Association (Verein) Kloster Schönthal. The contours of the monastery are well preserved, particularly the famous Romanesque portal.

International and Swiss’s artists produced site-specific sculptures for the meadows and woods of the beautiful Jura landscape around the Monastery of Schönthal in Langenbruck (Kanton of Basel-Landschaft). They shaped a cultural environment of more than one hundred hectares.

Having first familiarised themselves with the monastery, its almost thousand years of history and the landscape, 23 artists created up to now 33 sculptures. The gradual development of the collection makes it a work in progress.

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