The Rathaus (city hall) is an outstanding highlight of any visit to Basel. Its rich splendour speaks to the battle between citizens and church for the control of the city. Its a testament to the power of the people, through its guilds, through the outpouring of creative excellence in its deeply polished mosaics, proud statues and an outer facade that dominates Basel's marketplace, itself a symbol of the power of citizens through industry and trade. It's an architectural spectacle strategically positioned away from the power of the church to emphasise its separation. It shouldn't be missed.
Tought extended once in the 18th and once in the early 20th century, the early 16th century town hall has maintained its traditional, medieval flair. The structure replaced the old town hall which was built at the same place in the 15th century. The inner court is accessible to visitors as well as some richly decorated staircases with beautiful paintings. Most of them were made by Hans Bock in the early 17th century. Basel's town hall is mainly built out of striking red sandstone giving it an interesting contrast with neighbouring buildings.
There are guided tours through the rooms of the town hall as well, please refer to the official site for more information on that.
In the Markplatz is City Hall (Rathaus) the seat of the Government of the Canton of Basel - City.
It has beebn located here since the 14th Century. It was enlarged in the 17th Century and the facade was painted by Hans Brock.
In 1900 the Rathaus was extended with an addition of a wing on the left and a tower on the right.
1. Marktplatz with market and City Hall
2. Rathaus (City Hall)
This distinctive red sandstone building is the City Hall, dating from the early sixteenth century.
It is located directly on the Marktplatz (Market Square), where outdoor markets are still held and currently lots of construction work is going on.
The brightly colored Rathaus dominates the Markplatz. The Markplatz was always busy day and night. Even though separated from the the Markplatz by the Rhein river, Hotel Europe (see my hotel tip) is a 10-15 minute walk along Clarastrasse.
Basel shares her border with France and Germany. Karlsruhe is less than a two hour drive on the autobahn, however watch your speed and PLEASE, if you are doing the speed limit, stay out of the far left lane! The far left lane is for passing and speeding. I have heard that the German police have really cracked down on speeders. Mulhouse is less than a 30 minute drive into France and the "Route de Vin" through Alsace is less than an hour away from Basel.
The first thing that struck me with this building is just how brilliantly bright and red it is - it must be the reddest building I've ever seen, in fact. Rather magnificent, and we only had time to see the outside and inner courtyard.
The Rathaus houses the government of the canton of Basel.
Most parts of this building were built between 1504-14 & 1606-08. The stunning paintings on the facade are works of Hans Bock (1608)
The Town Hall of Basel simply breathtaking. The red facade dominates the Market Square.
The most parts of it were built 1504 - 14 and 1606 - 08 (Middle wing seen from the Market Square). 1898 - 1904 the left wing with the alcove and the tower were added - in the same style.
The stunning paintings on the facade are works of Hans Bock (1608 - 11, restored 1977). The clock was constructed by Master Wilhelm 1511 -12. In the vaulted entrance hall you can see paintings depicting stories of the jewish history (by Hans Bock again).
The yard fascinates again with painting by Hans Bock, restored 1978 - 83 (e.g. the gods Hermes and Diana, Prometheus waiting for the eagle etc.) Very impressive is the figure of Munatius Plancus (the Roman founder of Augst and Basel) on the foot of the staircase (1574).
I was very fortunate to have a friend in Basel who made the guide for a tour of the rooms in the town hall. For example I was able to see the magnificent government hall (16th century) with excellent stained glass windows, wooden panels and a stunning wood-carved ceiling. He also showed me the huge parliament hall (around 1900) which was fascinating.
Finally he got the key for the tower, we climbed up and enjoyed the fantastic views of the city.
It has nothing to do with rats. It is what we call "town hall".
This building is amazing. It is the middle of town so you won't miss it. Take a look from inside and try to get to as much information as you can getting a guide. The paintings and the sculptures in the inside have a lot of history.
The town hall or Rathaus is found in Marktplatz. This is one of the old towns main squares. There are sitll daily markets in this square with fruit and vegetalble vendors. The Rathaus is red in color and catches your eye the minute you step into the square. The central arcade section dates back to the sixteenth century. The tower was added in the late nineteenth century.
The Town Hall has been located in Marktplatz since the 14th century. The market offers from Monday to Saturday, fresh vegetables, fruit and flowers.
The Town Hall, with its red walls, overlooks the town centre's Market Square. Its oldest parts are almost five hundred years old.
This is a little more of a closeup up of the Rathaus. You can make out the detail and bright coloring better in this picture.