Sunday, June 22, 2014

Basel Minster (Basler Munster)

Basel Minster,
Basel, Switzerland

"The Basel Minster (German: Basler Münster) is one of the main landmarks and tourist attractions of the Swiss city of Basel. It adds definition to the cityscape with its red sandstone architecture and coloured roof tiles, its two slim towers and the cross-shaped intersection of the main roof. The Münster is listed as a heritage site of national significance in Switzerland.
"Originally a Catholic cathedral and today a reformed Protestant church, it was built between 1019 and 1500 in Romanesque and Gothic styles. The late Romanesque building was destroyed by the 1356 Basel earthquake and rebuilt by Johannes Gmünd, who was at the same time employed for building the Freiburg Münster. This building was extended from 1421 by Ulrich von Ensingen, architect of the cathedral towers at Ulm and Strasbourg. The southern tower was completed in 1500 by Hans von Nußdorf

Basel Minster

"The building as it stands today dates back for the most part to the late Romanesque building constructed in the last third of the 12th century and completed around 1225. On the foundations of the previous buildings a church with three naves and atransept was built. In the second half of the 13th century, probably after a fire in 1258, the western facade was completed, Georgsturm received a third story and the Martinsturm was started.

"The main front which points at the west is bestrided by two towers. The northern tower is called Georgsturm (64.2 m) and the southern tower is called Martinsturm (62.7 m). The towers are named after Georg and Martin, saints of the knights. 
"After a heavy earthquake in 1356 the Münster, which originally had five steeples, was reconstructed with only two steeples remaining. At the older Georgsturm, the lower brighter part that has remained untouched, can still be seen. In 1500 a gorgeous finial was put on top of the Martinsturm. By using the steep spiral stairs in the southern steeple it is possible to see the old church clock from 1883. The belfry is situated in between the two steeples which are connected through a gallery. Georgturm and Martinsturm can both be accessed by 242 stairs. 
"Both of the steeples consist of three lower, undivided storeys and several Freigeschosse. The two lower storeys are simple and block-like. The steeples’ upper storeys soar up the tracery gallery. As those were not constructed simultaneously, they differ slightly in their outer appearance. In contrast to the southern steeple, the octagonally cross-sectioned steeple and the steeple topping attach only over a rectangle storey at the northern steeple. Comparable to the Freiburger Münster, lank Fialentürme project at the corners of the octagons. (Link 1.)
A unique feature of the spires are the "crockets", stone nubs  jutting out from the edges of the spire.  Another church in Basel has this same feature, the Elizabethkirch.
Elisabethenkirch, Basel, Switzerland

Sanctuary, Organ Pipes

Along with the numerous stained glass windows are two rose windows.

Nave Stained Glass Windows
(See Link 2.)

Rose Window

Rose Window

Photos: Taken in April 2014 by Richard Wilson while working in Basel,
Link 1:
Link 2:


God, be with the persecuted Christians through out the world.  Amen (SW.)

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