From the Highest of Heights

In between our trips to London and Paris, we decided to do some sightseeing here at home and headed to the Basler Münster.  I had technically been there before, when we went to see the lanterns during Fasnacht, but I couldn’t really see and appreciate the building at night.

You guys, it’s gorgeous.

Just a beautiful building.

The website for the Münster is only in German and Google Translate isn’t perfect (shout out to Chrome for translating it for me automatically, though!), which makes navigating the site and trying to learn history difficult.  It does appear, though, that parts of this building have been in place since before the major earthquake in 1356. So way to go, amazing old building, for surviving that!

G was a fan of the wide open courtyard. Perfect for running.

This pair of statues is strange to me. I guess structurally it makes sense to have the knight stab the dragon/dog in the mouth, but it looks weird.

If I read my translated history correctly, these doors predate the earthquake. Also they are quite large.

We headed inside to look around.  You can tour the church for free, but you do have to pay to go up for the view.

There is a lot of gorgeous stained glass.

Example 1.

Example 2.

Example 3.

There are also a lot of sarcophagi.

One of the older, less ornate ones.

A “newer” one. G kept saying that these “statues” were “sleeping.” We didn’t really feel like we needed to explain their actual purpose just yet.

Before moving to Basel, I had only heard of a basilisk in relation to Harry Potter, but they’re very big here.  Wikipedia even mentions them being the guardian and traditional symbol of Basel.

So it’s not too surprising to find one embedded into the floor of the church.

After touring the church, it was time to head up the stairs. Spoiler alert: There were a lot of stairs. And pro tip: A maxi skirt and sandals weren’t the proper wardrobe choices for this excursion.

Some of the first stairs. These were steep but ended up being among the easier flights; further up they were wooden and the staircases were narrower.

There are three levels you can climb to. Andy and G made it to level two and then Andy’s dislike of heights overtook him.  He and G headed back down, but I went the rest of the way up.  I think that was actually against the rules; I’m pretty sure you are only supposed to climb the towers with a buddy. Luckily I made it up and back down without issue.

Looking past the courtyard towards town.

Roof details.

This dude is creepy!

Looking up!

A view of the river from the top.

Kind of an impressive bell; snapped this pic on my way back down.

While I was finishing climbing up and down the tower, Andy and G were discussing what we should do next and the answer was obvious:

Probably one of G’s favorite Basel activities.

The spelling, however, isn’t obvious:

Get it together, German.

This was a different ferry than we took last time, but it works the same way.

The river’s current actually pulls the ferry back and forth across the river; this just guides it.

Lots of swimmers out again!

RIP these sunglasses; G left them on the bus on our way home that afternoon.

All in all, we had an awesome time playing tourist in our new home!

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