Off the beaten track of Basel museums Lesser known Basel museums

Basel is home to the largest concentrations of museums in all of Switzerland. Those who have time to explore Basel in depth will want to consider some lesser known, less advertised, but truly excellent local museums that are unique to Basel.

The Basel Paper Mill

This museum is located in the Saint Alban section of the city, The Paper Mill is a hands-on experience aiming to bring the visitor from the origins of paper, to the final stages and everything in between. Visitors are invited to make their own paper, try calligraphy and set their own type in interactive exhibits with museum staff. The beautiful museum is home to a large shop carrying artistic paper products of all kinds from wrapping paper, to folded boxes to greeting cards. Perfect for every calligraphy and craft lover!

The Jewish museum of Switzerland

The only one of its kind in Switzerland, the Jewish museum follows the history and culture of the local Jewish population from antiquity to today. The museum is known for having the best collections of Judaica in not only Switzerland but all of central Europe. Items on exhibition include tombstones dating back to the Middle Ages, Hebrew books printed by the famous Basel printing houses hundreds of years ago and documents of the Zionist Congresses enrich the collection.

Two other options of museums, requiring a little travel, are also less known in the Basel region.

Three Countries Museum, Lorrach, Germany

This German city hosts many shops and a restaurant, however relatively unknown is their local museum. The history of Lörrach's position in the very south west corner of Germany is a reminder to anyone coming from Switzerland of the proximity and strikingly different past the Basel neighbor has had for centuries despite being only 15 minutes north. The museum, named for the position in the corner of three nations presents the history of the multinational region of the Upper Rhine.

Augusta Raurica, Augst, Switzerland

Perhaps one of the greatest sites of Roman ruins to be found in Europe, many in Switzerland don't even know about Augusta Raurica, the Roman ruins in their own backyard. This former Roman town on the banks of the Rhine was a bustling hub of commerce and trade. Today, it is a fantastic museum covering many acres, including bath houses and an amphitheater once host to gladiator fights. Hands on events, such as bread, pottery and oil making, connect today to the roman times with authentic methods and materials that Romans living in today's region of Switzerland one used. The museum is an opportunity to get lost in a different age and culture. An easy 25-minute train journey easy of Basel this hidden treasure is worth the trip.



Augusta Raurica


Image: © Susanne Schenker

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