I did make it out to Basel today, but stayed only for four hours or so, using the street cars to get around to where I wanted to go. Basel is a stone’s throw away from Germany, and from France. I heard a lot of French on the street cars.
Here’s the route to Basel, from Oerlikon station in the north of Zurich. That’s the train on the inset picture, and the platform sign says we depart at 10.01 am for the Swiss Federal Railway Station at Basel; the 1’s and 2’s indicate the cars with 1st class & 2nd class seating, and which sections on the platform they will stop at. The train only stops for a minute or two! Do NOT be a whole 5 minutes away from where you need to be, when that train comes in and stops!
Here’s the main entrance of Basel SBB railway station. It has operated since 1854 but was rebuilt in 1860 and again in 1907, with another major upgrade in 2003.
This is Marktplatz with its eye-catching red Town Hall (Rathaus).
The little plaza inside the the town hall. The inscription in the middle at the bottom reads ‘Freiheit is über silver und gold’ – (The value of) Freedom is more than that of silver and gold.
The Les Trios Rois (The Three Kings) hotel with the symbol of basel on the left : a black crosier (a hooked staff carried by a bishop as a symbol of pastoral office).
Here’s the mighty Rhine River that flows through Basel. I am standing on the Mittlere Brücke (Middle Bridge). The south is to my left and north is to my right. Germany is just a few miles away to the north. Also, as I’m looking west, and can probably see some of France in the distance.
This is Spalenvorstadt (Spalen suburb) with Spalentor (the Gate of Spalen) at the end of the street. The gate was part of the ancient city walls of Basel, dating back to the 1400s.
Here’s Spalentor from the other side.
Here’s another ancient city gate; this one is called The Gate of Saint Alban. The gate was originally constricted in 1230, but mostly destroyed by an earthquake in 1356. Reconstruction was completed in 1374. The gate even survived a planned demolition 1869.
These buildings line Barfüsserplatz. I took the picture from the steps of the Barfüsserkirche (Barfüsser church).
The Elisabethenkirche (church) was built from 1857–1864, and is the best known neo- Gothic building in Switzerland (Source: Wikipedia).