The history of Basel as an urban settlement begins on the Cathedral Hill. In the first century BC, Celts from the tribe of the Rauricii lived there in a fortified "oppidum". In the Rittergasse, remains of the "Celtic Wall" can be seen in windows let into the ground. The first discernible traces of a cathedral date from the Carolingian period. This building was destroyed in 917 when the The town was attacked by the Hungarians. At the beginning of the 11th century, Emperor Henry II endowed Basel with a magnificent new cathedral. In the last quarter of the 12th century, Henry's cathedral was replaced by a late Romanesque building which was restored in the Gothic style after the devastating earthquake of 1356.

Today this fine square is used for all kinds of events and serves as a living open space for people to meet.
With its red sandstone walls, multicoloured roof tiles and twin towers, the Cathedral is a dominant feature of the city. The crypt, the choir, the tomb of Erasmus of Rotterdam, the Galluspforte and the two cloisters are a testimony to the eventful history of its construction over a period of several centuries.

Opening hours:
Summer, Easter Saturday until October 15.
Monday - Friday 10 a.m. - 5.00 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. - 4.00 p.m.
Sunday and holidays 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Winter, October 16 until Good Friday
Monday - Saturday 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Sunday and holidays 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.

The word "Pfalz" is derived from "palatium" = palace. The terrace high above the Rhine behind the Cathedral is called the Pfalz because the residence of the Bishop of Basel was in the immediate vicinity.
The Basler Pfalz offers a magnificent view over the Old Town and far out into the Three-Countries Corner.


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Visitor Information

Telephone Number: 41 (0)61 268 68 68
Fax: 41 (0)61 268 68 70
The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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