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HMB - Museum of History

Certificate of Excellence
Neighborhood: Altstadt
Sponsored by:
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Address: Barfusserplatz 4, Basel 4051, Switzerland
Phone Number: +41 61 205 86 00
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Tue - Sun 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

The Museum in the Church

The Barfusser Church owes its...

The Museum in the Church

The Barfusser Church owes its name to the barefooted Franciscans, the mendicant order that built it as a convent church in the 14th century. As the HMB flagship, the Barfusser Church has housed one of the oldest collections on the Upper Rhine since 1894. Among its treasures are attractions of world-class calibre such as the Basel Cathedral Treasury, the Basel Dance of Death and some very fine medieval tapestries. Representing the Early Modern Age is a Great Cabinet of Curiosities showcasing Basel's long tradition as a city of private collectors ranging from Erasmus of Rotterdam, the Amerbach and Faesch families to the famous historian Jacob Burckhardt. Visitors are invited to embark on a journey through the ages and to discover the history of Basel from Celtic times to the 21st century. The museum shop stocks an attractive range of cards and gifts, while the Cafe BARfusserkirche has free WLAN and a quiet corner making it the perfect place to linger and savour the unique atmosphere of the church.Both shop and cafe can be accessed free of charge.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 72 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 32
  • 30
    Very good
  • 6
  • 1
  • 3

This museum is close to our hotel, the first place we visited as we walked along the Main Street then make a left from the station before you reach the church facade. A very... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed July 1, 2015
Jun J
New York City, New York
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72 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Spring, TX
Level Contributor
105 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2015

What a collection! Archeology, coins, art, tapestries, and even humor! Defintiely get the Basel Card so you can get a "free" city tour plus 50% off museum access in the city. Then come to his place. Once the site of a former church (as many places in Basel) now it is this History museum. They had a survey they took... More 

Thank WildmanWong
Geneva, Switzerland
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2015

THE VERY GOOD: -Does an excellent job of making the history of Basel accessible and interesting. By this, I mean that rather than just presenting you with objects and maps and signs, they have nice interactive audiovisual displays which allow even smaller children and people with shortish attention spans to enjoy the museum. Really well done! -Especially permanent exhibitions on... More 

Thank happyboffers
Basel, Switzerland
Level Contributor
87 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2015

Im keen to learn some of the history of Basel , but this is not the place to do it. Some beautiful objects on display, but almost zero information in English. This city has a 30%+ population of non German speakers... one would think more attention would be paid to this part of the local population plus visitors to the... More 

Thank imagine_david1959
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
537 reviews
380 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 185 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2015

This museum is close to our hotel, the first place we visited as we walked along the Main Street then make a left from the station before you reach the church facade. A very interesting place to see.

Thank Jun J
Ruardean, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2015 via mobile

This museum is a must see if you want to understand the history of Basel. It has everything that you'd need in it from Roman coins and pottery to Medieval suits of armour. Currently its got a football quiz through the ground floor area which is a bit of fun and teaches some football knowledge that one might have never... More 

Thank Oliver P
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
102 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2015

The cabinet of curiosity in the downstairs level was great-- loved it! The museum is not large, but has a simple and interesting collection with period rooms, sculptures and some great temporary exhibits. If you are not a big museum person, but still want to soak in a bit of the local history- this museum is perfect. Also! Nice little... More 

Thank Esthersnippe
Derby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
178 reviews
117 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2015

Set in the old Franciscan church this is the local history museum. At present the temporary exhibition is about football and the devotion it inspires. The exhibition is well set up, as you go around you are given an electronic pod which allows you to hear additional material and answer questions. Despite not being the biggest football fan, this was... More 

Thank Sam3314
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
314 reviews
153 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2015

museum is located in the city centre but is quite easy to miss as its not well signed. It contains a confusing collection of historical aretefacts that would benefit from a more structured layout and a bit more on the history of this fine city. There was also a special exhibition on soccer that took up most of the ground... More 

Thank ggmck186338
Basel, Switzerland
Level Contributor
24 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2015 via mobile

As an alternative to the always fabulous Naturhistorisches Museum and Tinguely Museum, I decided to take my 3 kids (8F, 7F, 4M) to the Museum of History. We did not get very far. After about 3 minutes we were approached by a grumpy, and obviously childless lady. She wrongly accused my 8 year old of touching things and told me... More 

Thank Ambade
Daniele T, Leiter Öffentlichkeitsarbeit at HMB - Museum of History, responded to this review

Dear Ambade, thank you very much for your feedback. Please be insured that we have already taken corrective actions. The wellbeing of our visitors is something we take very seriously here at the Basel Historical Museum. We therefore sincerely apologize for the happening and try our very best that something like this won't happen again in the near future. Best,... More 

Level Contributor
55 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

Although clearly signposted it is easy to miss this interesting museum in an old church building in the centre of the city (in Barfüsserplatz). There is much else to see and people often ignore this place. There is a static exhibition as well as frequently changing "specials". at the moment it is a history of how World War 1 had... More 

3 Thank Colin H

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