Bettingen, St. Chriscona. Foto/Photo: TES.

St. Chrischona in Bettingen

St. Chrischona is the only mountain (522 metres) in the canton of Basel-Stadt. The nearby village of Bettingen is one of three communities in this small canton. The two other municipalities are Basel and Riehen.

Most of the canton’s territory is located on the right bank of the Rhine, surrounded by German territory. Only the canton of Schaffhausen surpasses in this respect the canton of Basel-Stadt.

Bettingen is an originally Alemannic village. Successive Lords owned the town before it was sold to Basel in 1513. The main reason was the commercially attractive pilgrimage church Chrischona. Basel bought Riehen in 1522.

Until the arrival of the national states after 1815, the Rhine was not a natural border. Many abbeys, dioceses, princes, dukes, counts and other political units owned estates in the Swiss Confederation and vice versa.

The first church on the mountain was built in the seventh century. It was dedicated to St. Chrischona. Afterwards, the church was rebuilt in the Carolingian and Romanesque styles. The current (Gothic and Renaissance) church dates from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

The church fell into disrepair after the Reformation. Since 1840 it has been a seminar for Protestant clergy training. The complex is still a training centre today and offers other facilities.

The nearby 250-metre television tower offers a fantastic view of the Black Forest, the Vosges, the Jura and the Alps.

Bettingen was the border town with the Grand Duchy of Baden (1806-1918), the Republic of Baden (1918-1933), the Third Reich (1933-1945) and the German State of Baden-Württemberg.

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