In the Middle Ages, monasteries shaped not only the city’s appearance, but its culture and economy, too. Along with the substantial buildings within the city walls, there were extensive properties in the surrounding area. The monasteries became state property with the Reformation, and new functions had to be assigned to the buildings. Several monastery churches served as grain or salt stores. To this day, the former monasteries accommodate city institutions, such as museums, for example. Even now, 500 years after their dissolution, monasteries give their names to whole districts or important squares of the city: St. Alban district and St. Johann district, Claraplatz and Barfüsserplatz. The latter is dominated by the powerful Barfüsserkirche, into which the Historisches Museum Basel moved in 1894 after an eventful history.


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