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The Bischofszell tapestry

Key data

Eastern Switzerland, 1st third 10th century

Embroidery, wool on woollen cloth, height 117 cm, width 285 cm

Inv. 1873.6.


The richly detailed pictorial chronicle was created by the subtle combination of different types of stitches in coloured wool threads on a pieced together woollen cloth. It is a realistic portrayal of the town of Bischofszell (canton of Thurgau), lying on the slope of the Bischofsberg, and the landscape around the confluence of the rivers Sitter and Thur. The keep of the castle carries the coat of arms of the Bishop of Sonnenberg. The scenes in the rural landscape, enlivened with all kinds of livestock, are of particular historical interest. A rider whose saddlecloth is decorated with the coat of arms of the bishop, preceded by a gaily costumed entourage, makes his way towards a welcoming drink. A bather jumps from the other bridge and peasants joke with one another around a harvest wagon. Pedlars hurry to the castle, a woodcutter wields his axe, and even a priest is included in the vivid hustle and bustle.

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Basel Historical Museum
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