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Art, Architecture and Entertainment in Basel, Switzerland

At the juncture where France, Germany and Switzerland meet, Basel is a city of intricate layers with around 166,000 inhabitants. Arts and culture lovers will be in heaven here amid the theatres, galleries and museums that form a major

Basel’s Middle Bridge. Photo Courtesy Harry Wood

part of Basel’s identity.

One of the primary attractions is the Museum of Fine Arts, located close by the Wettsteinbrucke, which showcases the world’s oldest collection of art open to the public. Collections are divided into two – the Galerie and the Kupferstichkabinett – and these include installations, drawings, watercolours, sculptures and prints. New media such as photography and video were incorporated in the 1960s as well and there is a changing programme of exhibitions featuring artists such as Renoir and Hilary Lloyd, who captures ordinary features and brings them to life on film.

Those who simply wish to stroll the streets and take some pictures can admire beautiful contemporary architecture built by some of the best international architects. Herzog and de Meuron are local masters who have constructed the Alsace Gate glass palace, while American Richard Meier designed the identifiable white aluminium office building, Euregio. Just five minutes from the train station will lead you to the round bank building conceived by Mario Botta, his largest design north of the Alps.

Basel's Townhall. Photo Courtesy FreshiEvening entertainment can be enjoyed at the Theater Basel, where thirty opera, drama and ballet productions take place every year on three different stages, catering to all tastes. Around 25 other theatres boast everything from productions for children to full scale musicals. Classical, jazz, rock and pop music are also represented in the city. The Stadtcasino was built in 1876 and regularly wows audiences with breathtaking acoustics while jazz clubs are scattered around Basel and festivals take place throughout the year. Book flights to Basel and step inside a cultured Swiss gem.

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