Friday, December 21, 2012

Visits of Christmas Markets Past - Basel Switzerland

Here's the last (for this year) in the series of my three country Christmas Market Visits from a few years ago. From our place in Germany, it's only a few hours rie on the train to beautiful Basel.

Christmas Market Roundup: Basel, Switzerland

Protected by the city's symbol of a dragon or basilisk, Basel has the warmest climate in Switzerland as well as a unique location in Europe bordering both France and Germany. My basilisk room key:

Basel boasts the largest and most traditional Christmas market in Switzerland. It also has the longest Christmas street in Europe.

A lovely and elegant city, Basel is very easy to get around. The friendly locals speak French, German and English.

I started my tour by walking over the Mittlere Brücke, where the very first bridge over the Rhine was built in 1226. This current bridge replaced the old one in 1905 with the advent of the electric tram. I walked on to the beautiful city hall, a Renaissance palace where a food market was in full swing.

Inside the courtyard of the city hall, someone had lost an earring and the person who found it, in the holiday spirit, hung it on the Christmas tree. This book was displayed for people inclined to write their wishes for the new year...


Then it was off to the Christmas Market centered around Barfüßer platz connecting with Theaterplatz, in the heart of Basel.

Beautiful handmade candles and a booth where kids can make their own.

Walkway between the two sections of the market.

Wonderful Swiss treats like racklette, käskiechli (little cheese quiche), marzipan fruits, anise cookies, Basel Läkerli (gingerbread without the ginger) and of course, gorgeous chocolates...

Best shopping find - these clever handmade pepper mills shaped like wine bottles and fire hydrants.

Basel Christmas market by night:

Some other great sites in Basel:

The Hammering Man sculpture by Jonathan Borofsky swings his hammer in the rhythm of a man's breathing. The sculpture symbolizes global citizens working together to maintain a safe environment.

Kunstmuseum Basel is the leading art house in Switzerland. This Calder sculpture is at the entrance. A fantastic museum (with an entire room of Picasso) definitely worth the visit.

A skating rink was set up in the courtyard of the museum.

On my way to visit the cathedral I passed the civil marriage office. If you look closely through the bars, you will see a newly married couple taking their wedding photos.

Sculptures in the courtyard of the Cathedral's cloister.

Restorers working on ancient headstones.

The beautiful red sandstone Münster or Cathedral and the Pfalz with magnificent views.

The Münsterfähre (Cathedral Ferry) is attached to a rope strung out across the river. The current pulls the boat across.

Like many other European cities, this beautiful train station had it's own Christmas market going on.

I hope you enjoyed these christmas market tours. I will most likely share more of them next year.


  1. It's so lovely. I hadn't really thought about visited Basel before. Oh, to only be a few hours' train ride from so many places! Definitely need to work on the whole moving-to-Europe thing. :-)

  2. Love the sculptures of the food and flowers and is that a penguin or two on the skating rink in the courtyard the museum :)

    I know you are happy to be back State side but I can also imagine how you must miss being overseas, especially at this time of the year. It is very beautiful isn't it?


    1. What an amazing holiday share - gorgeous photos which inspire the holiday spirit! Those cakes in the first image look awesome, as if they're in a fairy tale book. What are they called? Would love to get the recipe.

  3. This is such a great series, Lora. I love Switzerland..well, never been, but I want to. Your photos definitely made me want the flesh! Wishing you and your loved ones an amazing holiday!! xo

  4. Wow, so SO beautiful! I can't wait to look back through your other two posts to get a virtual tour. Someday I'd love to visit these in person, but until then THANK YOU for sharing these photos. :D

  5. Thank you so much for sharing your 3 country Weihnachtsmaerkte. I miss those most of all living in the US. Especially the Gluehwein and Feuerzangenbowle. Frohe Weihnachten.


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