Sunday, February 5, 2017

Climbing to the Roof

We headed back to the Basel Minster the next day, while we were waiting for our ship to sail down the Rhine.  I had my heart set on climbing up the towers, though I only got halfway.

Even at the front door I was noticing more old sculptures.  This is one thing that ties together most of the old cathedrals in Europe, and I'm sure there were reasons for each one that was carved.

Inside I sought directions and headed up the old stairs, several flights of them.

Past the clockworks on one level; these still run the big bells that ring the hours.

Soon I was almost crawling past, and ducking my head under, a maze of huge old timbers

And then past the bells.  I was very glad I wasn't there on the hour to hear this one ring while I was inside.

And then I stepped outside.  It was a trifle disconcerting at first, but once I got my footing, I could look over the edge and enjoy the view.  This is that chain link modern sculpture that looked like a construction site out front.  It was actually an interesting statement about freedom vs imprisonment, put together by an American artist working with a group of prisoners.

 Soon I was ducking my head under the sculptures that look so much bigger once you're up here!

And getting a view over the remarkable roof.

 I'm always intrigued by the flying buttress architecture of these old churches.  As you can see, this is a relatively small cathedral, with only two, and currently some restoration going on at the northwest corner.

Another very close sculpture in red sandstone.  Couldn't find out who this was.

There was a nice view over the cloisters, a more recent part of the building.  Looking up the Rhine further into Switzerland - we're sailing the opposite direction.

In fact I had only got halfway up, to that lower stone balcony on the left hand tower, just at the bottom of the roof level.  You can see the small door I stepped out of; they don't allow you beyond that.  I decided I would climb up all the cathedral towers I could on our trip, but it didn't work out that way for various reasons.


  1. And right there is a quilt design!!! love the way the shingles? Slate tiles? merge together as the diamonds fan out, so simple, yet so stunning.looking below, what an interesting way to represent freedom or otherwise. A great climb but so worthwhile.

  2. Quite an adventure, probably something I will never do. Thanks for sharing so I can enjoy it vicariously. - Margy

  3. amazing stairs, architecture and art!
    looks like a fabulous place to explore.

  4. That bell and the clockworks, amazing! It is all amazing really.

  5. This will be fun although I never tire of seeing your snow images!! Amazing roof and architecture!!

  6. Wow, thanks for taking us along!

  7. If that bell had rung while you were there, you'd be deaf as a post, now. Very interesting pictures. I enjoyed seeing that maze from above. :-)

  8. There never seems to be enough time to see this old and beautiful churches made by man and not machine. A 4 hour tour with a guide would barely cover it.

  9. Very interesting structures and scenery. Thanks for sharing.

  10. The bell and clockwork fascinate me- and what a roof!

  11. Wow---even though you didn't get all of the way UP, you did get high enough for some awesome pictures. WOW... YES---I'd hate to be in that area when the bells chime, unless I had earplugs.... ha.... That would be just a tad LOUD....

    Beautiful area....Love the bell and the clockworks.... Thanks for sharing.

  12. What a beautiful cathedral! All the gargoyles are so interesting looking and in such good condition. The tile roof also looks so beautiful. That looked like a good climb to get up the bell tower. Glad it did not ring while you were there!

  13. Wow, I sure would love to see these...did Mrs. F. G. think of a quilt when looking at that roof?

  14. Beautiful places that you are visiting look so great in your photos. You must be having good weather.