Basel is one of my favourite Swiss cities. Other than Zürich it is the city we have most visited during our holidays in Switzerland. This April we managed to fit in another trip. Basel is a beautiful city with a wonderful historic centre and its setting by the bend on the rhine adds to its attractiveness. There is such a lot to see and do in Basel, but one of its features which always impresses us is the amazing range of old, wooden doors which seem adorn just about every building in the historic centre. So this post will primarily show some my favourites among these doors. In most cases it is not just the doors themselves with their carving, but the adjacent walls and windows which often make a very pleasing and balanced whole. I start with three from an area close by the university. These three doors give a good glimpse into the variety to be found. The first is medium sized with pretty spectacular sculptured sections. The second is very rare, as nearly all doors are in various tints of varnished browns. Here the black paint almost hides some delicate carving. The third photo shows one of the wider doors and is also a bit unusual in that it feature two large glass inserts. The plants and the windows make a rather pleasing composition though.
Next we are up by the cathedral, one of the jewels of Basel, perched high above the rhine. All the old buildings around the cathedral have grand doors and I have picked out just one. It is another large door, with some lovely, intricate carving. Again the windows and shutters along with the painted surrounds make for a harmonious picture. This is followed by one of the doors into the cathedral itself. The door itself is rather small, but the surrounding masonry is stunning, so I could not leave it out. The cathedral itself is a most impressive and stunning edifice. The walls are adorned with fine sculptures and I include a photo of one of them, especially for our English and Catalan friends – St George slaying the dragon. The roof of the cathedral is covered with brightly coloured tiles, so I could not resist including a glimpse of this, particularly so, as I am sure the pattern will feature in a future embroidery project.
Basel is not, despite its beautiful historic centre, a city that lives in the past. On this visit we could not but help noticing the amount of new build that was going on across the city. In particular Basel seems to have fallen in love with high rise tower blocks as can be seen from the following two photos. Impressive looking buildings, but will the doors be equally impressive? A little interlude to show that you can find examples of the personal and intimate, even in the centre of the old city. Windows are another of our little passions and Basel has almost as many interesting windows as it has doors. Here are just a couple. No commentary is necessary, just enjoy.
However this post is mainly about doors and I end with three more fine examples. Each one shows a different facet of the range to found in Basel. Though all in varnished wood, the subtle differences in colour shine through. If you have never been to Basel it is a lovely city and well worth adding to your list of cities to visit.