Logo of Basel Historical Museum
Dunkle AnsichtHelle Ansicht
Barfüsserkirche: Outside view
Basel Historical Museum

BARFÜSSERKIRCHE

 

All opening hours and prices

Barfüsserkirche: Coin Cabinet
Basel Historical Museum

BARFÜSSERKIRCHE

TripAdvisor certificate of excellence 2020

Barfüsserkirche: Archaeology Room
Basel Historical Museum

BARFÜSSERKIRCHE

 

All opening hours and prices

Housed in the Barfüsserkirche since 1894, Basel Historical Museum presents selected aspects of the history of Basel from prehistoric times to the present.

Especially worthy of note are the works of pre-Reformation sacred art such as the Basel Dance of Death and Basel Cathedral Treasury. The section called «Understanding the World» installed in the basement comprises a magnificent array of medieval tapestries with their fantasy worlds and scenes of real life, the Renaissance and Baroque collections grouped together in one «Great Cabinet of Curiosities», and Basel’s rich archaeological heritage. Among the other highlights are the coin cabinet and Burgundian Booty.

> General plan of the Barfüsserkirche

> History of the Barfüsserkirche

> House rules

Insanely Normal – The History of Psychiatry in Basel

The exhibition tells the story of psychiatry over the last 150 years. Opening on 19 September 2024.

A passion for jewellery

A cabinet exhibition with design drawings and semi-finished products by the Basel goldsmith Pierre Fürbringer (1934–2017) provides an insight into the creation of his jewellery. From 13 July 2024.

From the music room to the concert hall

Let the small exhibition take you on a journey through the multifaceted musical world of Lukas Sarasin in the 18th century.

Opening hours

 

Special opening hours:

Swiss National Day
August 1, 2024
Thursday: open

Christmas Eve
December 24, 2024
Tuesday: closed

Christmas Day
December 25, 2024
Wednesday: closed

Boxing Day
December 26, 2024
Thursday: open

New Year's Eve
December 31, 2024
Tuesday: open

New Year's Day
January 1, 2025
Wednesday: open

Fasnacht Monday
March 10, 2025
Monday: closed

Fasnacht Tuesday
March 11, 2025
Tuesday: closed

Fasnacht Wednesday
March 12, 2025
Wednesday: closed

Maundy Thursday
April 17, 2025
Thursday: open

Good Friday
April 18, 2025
Friday: open

Easter Sunday
April 20, 2025
Sunday: open

Easter Monday
April 21, 2025
Monday: 10 AM to 5 PM

Labour Day
May 1, 2025
Thursday: closed

Ascension Day
May 29, 2025
Thursday: open

Whit Sunday
June 8, 2025
Sunday: open

Whit Monday
June 9, 2025
Monday: 10 AM to 5 PM

Swiss National Day
August 1, 2025
Friday: open

Admission

Admission fee

Adults: CHF 15.–
Reduced rate: CHF 8.– *
Combi-Ticket for all three sites: CHF 20.–
Combi-Ticket for all three sites, reduced rate: CHF 10.– *
Groups of 10 or more: CHF 12.–

* young people under 18 and up to 30 if still in education or training

Free admission

Happy Day: 1st Sunday of the month *
Happy Hour: Last hour of the day (except Sundays & holidays) *
Accompanying person of IV card holder
Children up to 13
Members of Association for Basel Historical Museum
Members of ICOM/VMS
Holders of Museums-PASS-Musées, Swiss Museum Pass or Colourkey

* except special exhibitions

Special exhibitions

Adults: CHF 20.–
Reduced rate: CHF 13.– *
Combi-Ticket for all three sites: CHF 25.–/CHF 15.– *
Groups of 10 or more: CHF 17.–

* young people under 18 and up to 30 if still in education or training

Happy Hour and Happy Day do not apply to special exhibition

Surcharge for events

Selected events are subject to a surcharge of CHF 5.– in addition to admission fee.

Location and directions

A wide choice of tours

Barfüsserkirche: Living History Felix Platter

Felix Platter was the physician of the city of Basel and a professor of medicine. He dissected corpses in the interests of advancing medical science. He also treated the sick and assiduously kept accounts of the many diseases that he encountered day in day out.

Book a tour

eGuide

Your electronic museum guide.

Further Information

History of the Barfüsserkirche

The Franciscans, often called the Barfüsser or «barefooted ones», settled in Basel in 1231. In 1250 the Bishop of Basel gave them some land alongside the city wall on which to build, and by 1256 they had erected a monastery complete with a church. Just a few years later this was torn down and rebuilt (from 1275 to 1309). The second Barfüsserkirche was built further to the north, and at 80 metres long it was significantly larger than the first. It stood on a 2-metre-high mound of gravel, moreover, which is why the remains of the first church are located in the basement of today’s church.

When Basel embraced the Reformation in 1529, the monastery passed into the hands of the city. The cemetery became the Barfüsserplatz, while the monastery itself was used to house parts of the hospital, the poorhouse and schools, and the cloister was repurposed as a lunatic asylum. The church remained a Protestant house of worship until 1794, even after the choir was boarded up to allow it to be used as a granary. From 1795 it served as a warehouse and from 1799 until 1815 it was used to stockpile salt, which explains how some 300 tonnes of salt came to seep into the floor. Demolition of the monastery began in 1843, and from 1845 until 1865 the site was the location of Basel’s customs warehouse.

There were various plans for the church – either it was to be torn down in part or in full, or it was to be converted into a school or a swimming pool, a library or an archive, a market hall or a gym – none of which was realized. In the meantime, the building was used as a post office, dairy market, pawnshop, glove shop and, as before, as a warehouse. In the absence of a plan and someone to take responsibility for it, the church fell into disrepair. The city proposed it as a location for the new Swiss National Museum it was bidding for in 1888, but after losing out to Zurich was once again left with a church without a mission.

Basel eventually decided to use the church as premises for its new Historical Museum and from 1890 until 1894 had it converted for that purpose. By 1964 the salt corrosion had become so serious that radical renovation work was essential. Making a virtue of a necessity, the city furnished the church with a lower level and so provided additional exhibition space for the museum.

 
Contact

Management & administration
PO box | Steinenberg 4
CH-4001 Basel

Office opening hours
8:30 – 12 AM | 13:30 – 17 PM
Reception: +41 61 205 86 00
historisches.museum(at)bs.ch

Sign up for our newsletter
Logo: FacebookLogo: InstagramLogo: TwitterLogo: YouTubeLogo: TripAdvisor
Logo: Culture inclusive
Open today from 10 AM to 5 PM
Closed today
Closed today
Tuesday to Sunday 10 AM to 5 PM
Wednesday to Sunday 11 AM to 5 PM
Wednesday to Sunday 11 AM to 5 PM