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Basel Historical Museum

Exhibition archive

The Basel Historical Museum, with its three sites, constantly offers smaller and larger exhibitions.

Browse through our archive and explore past exhibitions and special highlights. Please find our current exhibitions here.

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All past exhibitions

Special exhibition

Ligeti Labyrinth

An Exhibition Celebrating the Centenary of the Composer György Ligeti’s Birth

November 30 2023 – April 7 2024  |  Musikmuseum
German, English, French  |  Admission  | 

He is considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century. Many original manuscripts are on display in the exhibition and media stations invite visitors to experiment with his music. Open until 7 April 2024.

Readings of a Basel Couple in the Late Middle Ages

September 12 2023 – March 11 2024  |  Barfüsserkirche
German, English, French  |  Admission  | 

An early example of reading for an urban audience has survived in the form of a couple's library.


Christmas spirit at the Haus zum Kirschgarten

Seasonal exhibition

November 8 2023 – January 1 2024  |  Haus zum Kirschgarten
German, English, French  |  Admission  | 

The Haus zum Kirschgarten enriches the pre-Christmas season with surprises for young and old.

Special exhibition

Out of Use

Everyday Life in Transition

March 23 2023 – September 17 2023  |  Barfüsserkirche
German, English, French  |  Admission  | 

From monkey fur to spittoons, from typewriters to Game Boy: the theme of the exhibition is objects that are no longer in use.

Special exhibition

animalistic !

The Sound of Animals

October 22 2021 – August 27 2023  |  Musikmuseum

The special exhibition presents the many connections between animals and music.

Special exhibition

Elegant Imbibing

Baroque Silver from a Basel Collection

June 10 2022 – January 29 2023  |  Barfüsserkirche
German, English, French  | 

How might we turn water into wine? Conjure the aromas of a festive spread? «Imbibe elegantly »? One of Switzerland’s most important private collections of Baroque silver is presented to the public for the first time in this special exhibition. A fascinating insight into the sheer variety of drinking vessels, their manufacture and use, it reveals that for all the differences, there are also parallels between imbibing today and imbibing 300 years ago.


Monkey Business!

The life and death of a late medieval pet

January 21 2022 – May 22 2022  |  Barfüsserkirche

During excavations at the St. Alban-Graben in 2020, archaeologists discovered the skeleton of a monkey in a late medieval latrine tower.

Peter Ochs (1752–1821)

June 18 2021 – November 14 2021  |  Barfüsserkirche

Basel Historical Museum commemorates the 200th anniversary of the death of Peter Ochs with a small exhibition in two display cases in the Barfüsserkirche.

From the Otto Kleiber Archive

August 18 2020 – June 13 2021  |  Barfüsserkirche
German, English, French  |  Admission  | 

In cooperation with the University Library of Basel and for the first time, we are showing an exquisite selection of letters by exiled authors from the archives of the feature editor Otto Kleiber.

Special exhibition


Basel 1933–1945

August 21 2020 – May 30 2021  |  Barfüsserkirche
German, English, French  | 

UNTIL 30 MAY 2021: Basel Historical Museum is showing a special exhibition on Basel during the National Socialist era.

Fotografien aus der Sammlung Ruth und Peter Herzog

July 18 2020 – December 13 2020  |  Barfüsserkirche
Admission  | 

Impressive photographs from the Ruth and Peter Herzog Collection bring that time of technical feats and hopes back to life.

Display case

The Basel Quran

A contribution to intercultural dialogue

July 2 2019 – August 16 2020  |  Barfüsserkirche
German, English, French  |  Admission  | 

Starting in July, the Basel Historical Museum is to show the Basel Quran. The manuscript penned in Egypt or Syria in 1242 was brought to the Council of Basel from Constantinople in 1437.

Special exhibition


Friedrich Nietzsche and his Afterlife

October 16 2019 – February 23 2020  |  Barfüsserkirche
German, English, French  | 

This exhibition to mark the 175th anniversary of the birth of the famous German cultural critic and philosopher presents Friedrich Nietzsche, his works and influence to this day.

Special exhibition

Sound Pictures

Musical Treasures from 16th-Century Basel

May 24 2019 – February 2 2020  |  Musikmuseum
German, English, French  |  Admission  | 

Unique prints and manuscripts telling of the cultural life of Renaissance Basel.

Special exhibition

Gold & Glory

Gifts for Eternity

October 11 2019 – January 19 2020  |  Kunstmuseum Basel, Neubau
German, English, French  |  Exhibition admission  | 

The Basel Historical Museum is currently preparing a major loan exhibition to celebrate the millennium of Basel cathedral «GOLD & GLORY – Gifts for Eternity», which is to be the key event among numerous festivities planned for the cathedral jubilee.


Basel Historical Museum
Management & administration
Steinenberg 4
PO box
CH – 4001 Basel

Reception: +41 61 205 86 00

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