Basel - Part 2 - Orlando / Florida Guide
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Schloss Binningen, located just out of town, is a castle-hotel and restaurant with a storied past. It was first mentioned in 1299 as a castle with a moat, and in the 14th century it was nearly destroyed by two earthquakes, but it was reconstructed in the 15th century. Over the years, it served as an important military and political stop. Today, the stately manor house has a wonderful restaurant, also named Schloss Binningen, that serves the finest traditional French cuisine in the region, as well as local favourites. Dinner here will truly transport you to another era as you sit within its ancient stone walls. Head chef Thierry Fischer’s “Castle Menu” takes you on a gastronomic journey through the region. If you are lucky enough to go in spring or summer, you may be able to dine on the outside terrace.
Although Basel has dozens of museums, there are three not to be missed. Fondation Beyeler is a unique and open museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art. In Museum Tinguely, there are masterpieces from Jean Tinguely and magnificent outdoor favourites. The most popular, Kunstmuseum, also called the Fine Arts Museum, holds the important title of having Europe’s first collection of art accessible to the public—in 1661. The largest art museum in Switzerland has a beautiful courtyard where you can rest after visiting the three buildings. Each is full of paintings from famed artists including Hans Holbein, Eugène Delacroix, Salvador Dalí, Vincent Van Gogh, Picasso and Andy Warhol, to name a few. Plan to spend a few hours pursuing its galleries.
Originally a small medieval town, Basel expanded through the ages. With each new era came a new form of architecture, and it grew according to the day’s design codes and philosophies. The result is a charming mishmash of buildings from vastly different times including its well preserved 15th-century Old Town, full of narrow cobblestone streets and petite homes, to ultramodern marvels such as the Werkarum Warteck, and everything in between. An all-day walking tour is well worth the miles travelled to witness firsthand some of the wonders of the city. Starting in Old Town at the charming Marktplatz courtyard, one can visit the highly decorated, red City Hall building. From here, cobblestone streets lead up, down and sideways to indulge you in great views of the Rhine River. Walking across the 13th-century Mittlere Brücke Bridge with its canton flags and locks reminds you of the city’s history. And no walking tour is complete without a visit to the top of the St Johanns-Tor clock tower and the historic Basel Minster, filled with beautiful stained-glass windows.
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