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Welcome to the City of Museums

With over forty museums, Basel can well boast of being one of Europe’s cities with the best contemporary cultural facilities. A large number of these numerous museums feature the plastic arts as their central theme, displaying works that range from antiquity to the present. The city’s penchant for collecting has its origins in the 16th century, when collectors hailed from both the private and public sectors. Several private collections have been opened to the public in recent years, augmenting the supply even further.

The Kunstmuseum Basel – the Beginning of Everything

This is the most significant museum in Basel and the largest in Switzerland. Its collections, which date back to 1662, feature works running from the Middle Ages up to the present. Hans Holbein enthusiasts are in for a treat if they come here, as it boasts one of the largest collections of this artist’s work.

The Beyeler Foundation – a European Collector’s Classic

This foundation, housing the collection of the spouses, Ernest and Hildy Beyeler, is one of the largest and most important in central Europe. It is a compendium of classical modern art, from Monet, Cézanne and Van Gogh to Picasso, Warhol, Lichtenstein and Bacon. The counterpoint to these figures is a display of tribal art from Africa, Oceania and Alaska, the contrast producing an interesting result. Also well worth seeing are the surroundings of the beautiful building – designed by Renzo Piano – with its priceless garden.

The Tinguely Museum – an In-Depth Look at the Artist’s Sculpture Machines

Dedicated to the life and work of the Swiss sculptor, Jean Tinguely. The interior of this original building, the work of the architect, Mario Botta, houses the sculpture machines that brought him fame, in addition to documentation, photographs and drawings of his work.

The Antikenmuseum (Museum of Antiquities) – in Search of the Classics

This is the only Swiss museum devoted to ancient Mediterranean art and civilisation. The collection features pieces dating from between the 4th millennium BC and the 7th century AD, sourced from the ancient Egyptian, Greek, Italic and Roman cultures, as well as works from the Near East and Cyprus. Featured are Greek ceramics and sculptures and the section dedicated to ancient Egypt.

Klingental – the Region’s Art Trends

Housed in the Klingental convent church, the Ausstellungsraum Klingental is dedicated to the region’s artistic production.

Schaulager – A Space for the Experts

The building housing this unusual space was designed by the Herzog & de Meuron architects studio. Directed at a specialist art audience, it also hosts events for the public at large and is innovative even in its conceptualisation. It is not intended to be a run-of-the-mill museum, but a storage facility open to the public which houses the undisplayed works of the Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation.

HeK – a Look at New Media in Art Production

The Haus der elektronischen Künste Basel (House of Electronic Arts Basel) specialises in art created using electronic media, known as “new media” or digital art. There are facilities for hosting all kinds of activities associated with these new trends in art. It also hosts the Forum for New Media, as well as Shift, Festival of Electronic Arts.

Schoenthal – Open-Air Sculpture

The former Romanesque convent of Schoenthal, situated half an hour from Basel, houses the Stiftung Sculpture at Schoenthal, a not-to-be-missed sculpture park featuring nearly twenty works by Swiss and international artists. The Romanesque church has been converted into a gallery for temporary exhibitions of contemporary artworks.

Have you taken note of all the art you can see in Basel? Check out our flights here and see it all first-hand.


Text by ISABELYLUIS Comunicación

Images by Forgemind ArchiMedia, Jean-Baptiste Maurice, John Lord, régine debatty, Rosmarie Voegtli

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European Car Free Day: The cities with the highest awareness

Want to join in European Car Free Day? The aim of this initiative held every 22 September is to raise awareness about climate change by encouraging people to make their routine journeys on foot, by bike or by public transport. This year, as well as leaving your car at home, we invite you to inject some fun into it: get away to the European cities that are implementing policies to favour pedestrians and take a quiet stroll through the streets without worrying about the traffic.

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Mulhouse la gran desconocida de Alsacia

In this part of France two cities hog most of the visitors – Strasbourg, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in France, and Colmar, capital of the wine-producing region. However, the little known jewel in the newly created region of the Great East is Mulhouse, once an independent republic, located where three counties meet – France, Germany and Switzerland. Possibly on account of that privileged position, Mulhouse is now one of France’s most active cities in terms of creativity and culture, also partly driven by its importance in the 19th century as a textile centre, which has endowed the city with an interesting industrial heritage.

Mulhouse is the City of Art and History, the first city in the Alsace to be awarded this distinction. One of its major reference points is the Place de la Réunion, the heart of its historic centre, where the easily recognisable standout feature is the pink-coloured old Town Hall. Another landmark in the square is the Protestant Church of Saint-Étienne, with a campanile affording stunning views of the city. Permission is required to go up it.

Mulhouse was one of the first major centres of the textile industry in France. This is attested in the Museum of Printed Textiles, which each year hosts a thematic exhibition linked to some well-known designer. Likewise, the Wesserling Park - Textile Ecomuseum which offers dramatized tours and fashion shows. Other major draws include the examples of industrial architecture (reconditioned former brickwork factories), and the street art and contemporary art to be had in the city centre.

Another venue worth visiting is the Cité de l’Automobile (featuring the Schlumpf Collection), situated just five minutes from downtown Mulhouse. Considered one of the leading automobile museums in the world, it showcases over 400 vehicles, prominent among which is a large collection of Bugattis. The Automobile City, divided into five distinct areas, is a truly interactive museum. Interesting audiovisuals about the automobile industry are screened, while a number of simulators enable visitors to experience what it feels like to drive a racing car.

On the outskirts of Mulhouse, the town of Ungersheim is home to the Alsace Ecomuseum, the largest of its kind in France. Here you can learn about the traditional divisions of the Alsace, what their schools used to be like and what the leading trades were. The most important craftsmen were blacksmiths, cartwrights and potters. It is also amazing to see how they used to cook in earlier times, and how they distilled local spirits. Additionally, you can taste some authentic, traditional dishes like celery gelatine, potatoes with nettles and basil sorbet.

Lastly, if you want to try Alsatian cuisine, we recommend you head for a winstub, the equivalent of a pub in the Alsace – the Restaurant Le Cellier is an ideal example. There you can taste such local specialities as fleischschnakas, an exquisite dish of noodle dough stuffed with meat, flammkuchen or tarte flambée, thinly rolled out bread dough with a topping of raw onion, bacon and single cream, and sauerkraut, accompanied by delicious Alsace wines. And, the best place to go for a drink at night is Le Gambrinus where the atmosphere is welcoming and the craft beer is excellent (bière du Bollwerk).

Mulhouse lends itself to a weekend tour. The EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg, shared by France, Germany and Switzerland, is just 30 minutes away from the city centre. More information on the flights here.

Text by Tusdestinos.net

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5 Charming Terraces on the Alsace Wine Route

The Alsace Wine Route is speckled with numerous wine cellars where you can taste the famed wines of this French region. And, if you’re travelling with family, friends or your partner, you can opt to discover the world of winemaking through a series of leisure activities in a number of delightful towns and villages, some of them regarded as among the most beautiful in France. You will also come across an endless array of restaurants, from Michelin-starred establishments to the typical winstubs, a kind of bistro offering traditional cuisine from locally sourced products in a relaxed setting. And, seated at a terrace café, to wit. Take note of these venues, which we can highly recommend.

La Nouvelle Auberge
This former post office is located between the cities of Colmar and Munster. The ground floor features a bistro offering market cuisine at moderate prices. The first floor is given over to an acclaimed, award-winning gourmet restaurant, with the subtle creations of a chef who combines cutting-edge technique with simple Alsatian recipes, conditioned solely by seasonality and in line with the slow-food movement, of which La Nouvelle Auberge is a member. They offer four tasting menus with different dishes every day, depending on what the freshest produce from local producers happens to be. Some of their specialities include snail soup with garlic and parsley, oxtail consommé, smoked river fish fillet in red wine sauce and snail paté on toast, all paired with local wines. The interior design is that of a traditional, half-timbered Alsatian home, while the establishment boasts a pleasant, quiet, shady terrace set in natural surroundings.

Avenue 294
A comfortable, inviting establishment with refined decor where the chef crafts new suggestions every day, over and above a menu which is both contemporary and traditionally inspired. Special mention goes to the homemade desserts – watch out for the seasonal fruit tarts – and their wine list, extensive and with acclaimed local wines. As soon as the morning sun peeps through, they open a terrace behind the lovely red house that is Avenue 294. They have comfortable easy chairs and a plant-fringed area suited to having a last drink, for example. Pleasant ambient music accompanies the experience. A gourmet venue in a perfect setting you won’t want to leave.

Hôtel Beauséjour
A five minutes’ walk from the centre of the picturesque city that is Colmar – also known as “Little Venice” for its canals – you can relax in the garden-terrace of this establishment, owned by the Keller family, the fifth generation of restaurateurs. Their cuisine, based on seasonal products, is refined and very Alsatian, as evinced in the homemade foie gras with Gewürztraminer wine gelatine, or their organic five-meat sauerkraut. However, the standout feature of this restaurant-hotel is the interior patio, sited in a garden full of trees and flowers, totally cut off from the rest of the city.

Wistub Brenner
A genuine old-time Alsatian winstub located in the heart of Colmar. They offer the authentic – most compelling – local dishes, including sauerkraut, onion tart, Munster cheese salad and duck magret, cream cheese and potatoes and beef tripe with Riesling. We loved their beautiful, flower-filled urban terrace where you needn’t hesitate to spend a long after-meal sipping those fabulous white wines from Alsace, served in glasses with a green foot.

Le Cerf
Marlenheim, the first town you come to on the Alsace Wine Route if you start off from Strasbourg, has some great wine cellars and a great restaurant – Le Cerf. This establishment, which doubles as a hotel, has been run by the Husser family since 1930. It combines rustic interior design with avant-garde cuisine, which has earned it a Michelin star. Theirs is top-drawer cuisine, featuring regional dishes crafted using contemporary techniques, attested by the likes of sauerkraut or bouchées à la reine (stuffed vol-au-vent), and such international dishes as ravioli au foie gras or oxtail sashimi ramen, served up amid surrounding vineyards. Their terrace is a central patio where local red geraniums lend a touch of charm.

Book your Vueling to Basel, an hour and a half from the start of the Alsace Wine Route, and be sure to soak up the views in some of these magnificent terraces while tasting their delicious cuisine.

Text by Laia Zieger de Gastronomistas


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