Basler Munster - Basel, Switzerland
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member manchanegra
N 47° 33.370 E 007° 35.510
32T E 394059 N 5267933
The Basel Münster (Basler Münster) is one of the main landmarks and tourist attractions of the Swiss city of Basel and is listed as a heritage site of national significance.
Waymark Code: WMDXWW
Location: Basel Stadt, Switzerland
Date Posted: 03/08/2012
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member fi67
Views: 21

"The Basel Münster (Basler Münster) is one of the main landmarks and tourist attractions of the Swiss city of Basel and is listed as a heritage site of national significance.

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.

Building history
Early structures
The hill on which the Münster is located today was already a building site in the late Celtic Era in first century BC. A pre-Roman rampart (Murus Gallicus) was uncovered during archeological excavations. Both gate constructions and the historical run of the street can be partly retraced. This road parted at today's position of the Münster where once assumedly was a small temple which later was replaced by a Roman fort.

The first bishop of Basel is claimed to be Justinianus 343-346 AC. The bishop's see was relocated from Kaiseraugst (Augusta Raurica) to Münster hill during the Early Middle Ages. According to the archeologist Hans Rudolf Sennhauser this transfer presumably took place at the beginning of the seventh Century under bishop Ragnacharius, a former monk of monastery Luxeuil. There is no historical evidence for (the existence) of a cathedral before the ninth century.

Second church structure - the Heinrich Münster
Built on the old foundations of the Haito Münster some time after the turn of the first millennium a new building in the early Romanesque style of the Ottonian period was built by order of Bishop Adalberto II (approx. 999 - 1025). Sometimes called “Adalberto Cathedral”, the three-nave cathedral is actually named after its patron Emperor Henry II, in German “Heinrich”. The cathedral is dedicated to Emperor Henry II and his wife Kunigunde. The bishop governed the city as representative of the Emperor who gained possession of Basel in 1006.

Excavations from 1973-1974 prove that the crypt of this building, consecrated in 1019, had not been expanded. At the end of the eleventh century a tower made of light-colored limestone and molasse was erected on the western side of the building. This historic structure remains forming the bottom part of the north tower (Georgsturm) today. Heinrich Münster did not possess a tower on the south side.

Third church structure - late Romanesque
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 a transept was built. Even though supported by massive pillars, an earthquake in 1356 destroyed five towers, various vaults and parts of the crypts. Johannes von Gmünd, who was also the architect of Freiburg Minster, rebuilt the damaged cathedral and in 1363 the main altar was consecrated. In 1421 Ulrich von Ensingen, who constructed the towers of the minsters in Ulm and Strasbourg, began the extension of the northern tower (Georgsturm). This phase ended in 1429. The southern tower (Martinsturm) was completed by Hans von Nussdorf on 23 July 1500. This date marks the official architectural completion of the minster. In the 15th century the major and the minor cloisters were added. The minster served as a bishop’s see until 1529 during the Reformation. In the 19th century two major restorations took place. From 1852 until 1857 the rood screen was moved and the crypt on the western side was closed. In the 20th century the main aim of renovations has been to emphasize the late Romanesque architecture and to reverse some modifications made in the 1850s. Additionally, the floor was returned to its original level in 1975 and the crypt reopened. A workshop dedicated to taking care of the increasingly deteriorating sandstone exterior was set up in 1985."

Text from wikipedia
Country/Land: Switzerland / Schweiz

Original Reference: Basel A-Objekte, Seite 4 (94)

Münsterplatz 9 Basel

Year built: 1019

URL reference: [Web Link]

Additional URL: [Web Link]

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