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HMB - Museum of History

Certificate of Excellence
Neighbourhood: Altstadt
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Address: Barfuessergasse 4 | Barfüsserpl. 4, Basel 4051, Switzerland
Phone Number:
+41 61 205 86 00
10:00 - 17:00
Closed now
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Tue - Sun 10:00 - 17:00
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours

The Museum in the Church

The Barfusser Church owes its name to the...

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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 104 reviews
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  • 25
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    Very good
  • 7
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Wonderful Collections Across Many Time Periods

Our visit was not planned, only a walk-in from the street. But it turned out to be an enjoyable visit through the history of Basel and nearby regions. Artwork, sculptures and... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Thomas G
San Luis Obispo County, California
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104 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 61: English reviews
San Luis Obispo County, California
Level Contributor
61 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

Our visit was not planned, only a walk-in from the street. But it turned out to be an enjoyable visit through the history of Basel and nearby regions. Artwork, sculptures and artifacts were all well-presented albeit with not enough English translations. Especially liked the basement gallery with is ancient history collection.

Thank Thomas G
Geneva, Switzerland
Level Contributor
29 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Plenty to see on three floors. If you do not understand German, you will be lent a Samsung notebook in exchange of your ID and it is very handy. There is a bit of everything: tapestries, astrolables, religious art...It does form however a coherent ensemble. BUT even if I'm not religious, I was disconcerted at the way a temporary exhibition... More 

Thank FleurNastia
Ghent, Belgium
Level Contributor
433 reviews
279 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 March 2017

The museum is housed in an old church, and is larger than you expect from the outside. Part of the museum has been recently reinstalled, and the displays of the artefacts are very well done. It is packed with historical objects from the city, from carpets to roman sculpture and objects recovered. The part on the ground floor was partially... More 

Thank Katrien S
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 1 February 2017 via mobile

Honestly I wish we'd known ahead of time that it was so big, because we actually just came in to look around and it was a beautiful day out. We didn't intend to stay there for so long but there were so many different displays and tons of rooms, each of them very interesting, we ended up walking around for... More 

Thank Sharon F
Level Contributor
222 reviews
86 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 January 2017

As part of the museums night (pay one entrance fee and access that night almost all museums of Baesl) I went to explore this place. It was much bigger then expected. You can learn alot of the history of Basel. I was impressed how they managed to display so much information in such small space. However, if there would be... More 

Thank sascha411
Level Contributor
78 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 November 2016

The collection int he HMB is not as extensive or lively as in other History Museums around Europe, however the items on display really offer a glimpse on the society and everyday life of Basel throughout the years.

Thank M M
Level Contributor
91 reviews
67 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 November 2016

There are all sorts of artifacts from Basle's history starting with prehistoric and Roman finds. An entire section is dedicated to the Guilds which formed an important part of the cities mercantile development. Everyday items, cannons, stained glass and other curios are to be found. The museum is an old church and has recently been renovated.

Thank odysseusChicago
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
97 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2016

This museum was fantastic, great if you're interested in the history of Basel and Switzerland. It's small but in a beautiful old building, jam packed with information but not overwhelming or dull. There was a very interesting exhibit that showcased different Public Opinion Survey questions regarding Swiss identity.

Thank Charlie G
Level Contributor
40 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2016

We visited on a hot day and there were not many visitors. They rushed around to make sure fans were on in each room before we got there, they wer so sweet with us. There is a lot of information in English but not in the rooms with clocks which is a shame because i would have loved to have... More 

Thank beautyman
Level Contributor
119 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 May 2016 via mobile

The museum had a marvellous special display on time pieces which was fantastic - we spent hours in there. The rest of the museum was also really interesting with a wide variety of displays and articles. Highly recommend

Thank tmlb63

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Sedona, Arizona
over a year ago

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