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HMB - Museum of History

Address: Barfusserplatz 4, Basel 4051, Switzerland (Altstadt)
Phone Number: +41 61 205 86 00
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Ranked #28 of 99 things to do in Basel
Type: History museums, Museums
Owner description: The Museum in the Church The Barfusser Church owes its name to the barefooted Franciscans, the...
More attraction details
Attraction details
Type: History museums, Museums
Tue - Sun 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Owner description: 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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59 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
11 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 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 

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Bali, Indonesia
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
63 attraction reviews
113 helpful votes 113 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2014

Just 1 day in Basel, and I don't want to miss this historical museum... every step we will see a fantastic architecture and a lot of stuff of Churches. .. But the deacription mostly not in english.. Fantastic ornament cover all starting from the gate til the top of this museum..

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Birmingham, United Kingdom
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2014

We went in here, as I wanted to see the Dance of Death fragments rescued from the convent cloister distruction in 1805. As usual there's a not inconsiderable entrance fee and in the large hall there didn't seem a lot to look at (especially with limited English guides and notices and my German not being terribly good); however, the small... More 

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Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
35 attraction reviews
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

The Basel History Museum is a great way to spend a couple of hours. It is housed in what was once an old and beautiful church. The museum holds many displays of items that were found in the church or elsewhere and then reunited with the church. The displays of items unearthed in and around Basel are wonderful (coins, jewelry,... More 

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Washington DC
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
21 attraction reviews
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2014

The museum has beautiful displays, including much of what is left of the original "Totentanz" mural created during the Black Plague. Unfortunately, most of the explanations are given in German only, which limits the appreciation of visitors who do not speak that language.

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Birmingham, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2014

Great museum and a lot, lot better than you would think. The underground chambers are particularly great as are the weapons. Great morning had in this wonderful building, slap bang in the middle of Basel.

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Berlin, Germany
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
3 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2014

For a town the size of Basel, this was a fantastically laid out museum. I loved the coffee shop just inside. What an incredible array of historical religious relics - and the tapestry collection was mind-boggling! Doesn't take too long to get through the whole thing, and so worth it!

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Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2014

This museum has an outstanding collection of ecclesiastical art as well as historical objects from the Basel region. We could easily have spent a whole day examining their displays (but didn't get there until late afternoon our last day). I would rate it one of the best museums in Europe for those who are interested in European history from medieval... More 

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Top Contributor
220 reviews 220 reviews
98 attraction reviews
94 helpful votes 94 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2014

This history museum, in a historical church, contains artifacts that revolve around Basel from the Middle Ages till present. When I arrived, I was told the information for the displays was in German and was given a booklet that contained English descriptions for some of the displays, which were numbered. This was helpful. There were many interesting things to see.... More 

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mound, minnesota
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
12 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2014

As much as I wanted to really enjoy this museum it was difficult as all info is in German language. The front desk does have a book you can carry around with English explanations, but it is in some order that is still a lot of flipping of pages to find.. Helpful staff who can answer some questions in English.... More 

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