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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
Open 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 100 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 25
  • 24
    Very good
  • 6
  • 1
  • 2
Bigger than we expected!

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... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 3 weeks ago
Sharon F
via mobile
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100 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 58: English reviews
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago 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 60 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 weeks ago

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
79 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
88 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 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
26 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
113 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
286 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 140 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 May 2016

Fascinating Museum in old de-consecrated Gothic Church. We had a snippet of the museum within the Nave but did not have the time to explore the rest of the exhibits in the Choir, Crypt and Upper Gallery which require entry tickets. Its entrance fee was expensive and it demands some time to appreciate the exhibits so we will come back... More 

1 Thank FoodieArch
Basel, Switzerland
Level Contributor
53 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 April 2016

Man, oh man, what a great museum this was! Practically located smack dab in the middle of the Basel city center, this is one attraction that wont be too hard to get to once you get the hang of Basel's (ultra-efficient) public transportation system. Okay, once you get there, its impossible to not stand back and go "WOW". This museum... More 

3 Thank Nick_x_Mimi
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
71 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 February 2016

Free on the first Sunday each month! This museum was converted from a church, so beautiful surroundings to house city history from ancient times. The archeological relics are cool. I also noticed a painting or Mary Magdalene with 6 fingers.

1 Thank MadaleineB

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Sedona, Arizona
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