St. Alban, Basel. Photo/Foto: TES.

The St. Alban Church

The St. Alban valley is located on the Rhine, east of the Münster of Basel. The valley was already inhabited by fishermen, boatmen and traders before the arrival of the Romans.

The district of St. Alban still has a water source and a water wheel (at the current paper museum). The water mills were introduced by the Romans. The first church dates from the fifth century when Basel was the residence of the bishop.

Burkhard von Hasenburg (1040-1107), bishop of Basel, founded the monastery of St. Alban in 1083. The powerful abbey of Cluny administered the monastery.

The monastery was rebuilt in 1304 in the Gothic style, but in 1356 (earthquake) and 1417 (fire) the monastery was almost completely destroyed, the cloister was intact, however. The iconoclasm of 1529 destroyed the works of art.

It was not until 1845 that the canton approved the restoration of the church. (Source: A. Meyer, Ursprung und Geschichte von St. Alban in Basel, Landquart, 1975).