Basel Museum of Cultures, Basel

3.4
#7 of 10 in Childrens Museums in Switzerland
The Museum of Cultures in Basel (German: Museum der Kulturen Basel) is a Swiss museum of ethnography with large and important collections of artifacts, especially from Europe, the South Pacific, Mesoamerica, Tibet, and Bali. It is a Swiss heritage site of national significance.HistoryBoth the Museum of Cultures and the Natural History Museum Basel trace their origins to the 1840s, when the city of Basel founded its Museum of Natural History and Ethnography to house artifacts and artworks collected by merchants and travelers.In 1849, the museum moved into a large neoclassical edifice designed by Melchior Berri and located on the Münster hill at the heart of Basel, on the site of a former Augustinian monastery. In 1904 the museum created a separate ethnology department (Abteilung für Völkerkunde), and in 1917 the ethnographic collection became an independent institution inside the same building as the Natural History Museum.In the early 20th century, the Ethnographic Museum Basel began sponsoring expeditions to enhance its collections. In 1944 the museum was renamed the "Museum of Ethnology and Swiss Museum of Folklore" (Museum für Völkerkunde und Schweizerisches Museum für Volkskunde) to reflect its dual mission of documenting local as well as "foreign" cultures. Over time the museum shifted its focus to the promotion of intercultural dialog, leading to its official renaming in 1996 as the Museum of Cultures.
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Basel Museum of Cultures Reviews
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4.3
TripAdvisor
  • A staging of works successful and many outstanding pieces. Not a surprising façade in a yard to two of the Cathedral.
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  • The Museum of cultures is the most important Ethnological Museum of in Switzerland and is more than impressive in comparison to Europe. It is somewhat tucked away on beautiful Cathedral Square, the entrance is via one of the beautifully restored houses. Behind the modern museum building, which houses parts of the collection and the temporary exhibitions on four floors. The exhibits are very well marked, the lighting optimally. Core piece is certainly the about 16 metres high Kulthaus of the Abelam/Papua New Guinea, the ideal can be seen from the higher floors. Also the back of the ground floor of can be seen very well. The Museum has a nice Museum Shop, which, however, could offer a more extensive range of books. Next to the Museum there is a small nice café where you get nice things.
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  • 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. Its much bigger then I thought. So plan at least 1-2 hours for your ...  more »
Google
  • Amazing experience. French/English + Deutsch pamphlets but loaners only! Approx 1.5-2 hrs to read and see artifacts from many amcient cultures. Latin America, Asia, Indonesia, etc. (Free after 4pm).
  • Staff are friendly, you can't take pictures of the exhibition. It's a mix of cultures based on a themes eg, stars (have different cultures take on the stars) Take the lift to the 4th floor and work your way down. There are English notes on the entrance of each floor.
  • Personally was more impressed with the old museum when it was still connected with the Natural History Museum. The new building and exhibitions are very interesting, but somehow certain parts feel a bit like an art museum.
  • Unfortunately it was closed during my stay in Basel, I'm told by my local colleagues that is does worth the time.
  • Good quality exhibitions, and peaceful inside, in a very interesting building (an old one with new modern parts)

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Business-oriented Basel offers an overwhelming amount of mid-range hotels catering to its business clientele. The city fills up during conferences and events, so be sure to plan accordingly. There are a number of guesthouses and bed and breakfasts too, but they tend to be pretty pricey. You'll find a handful of budget-friendly hostels just south of the city core. Keep in mind that as you move toward the outskirts of town for affordable accommodation, proximity to the train stations will be key. The good news is that a number of the hotels include public transport passes with the cost of a room.
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