The museum posters decorating the café were so interesting that we decided to go next door (above, left side) and take a look.
Given the quiet, very traditional appearance of the street entrance, we were completely surprised by what we found on the other side of the archway.
In an enclosed courtyard, seven, four-story tall columns of plants hang from the deep eave of an irregularly folded roof of glistening ceramic tiles.
The museum* is 166 years old and houses a current collection of over 300,000 ethnographic artifacts from around the world. The hanging columns were installed in 2011, part of an extensive renovation of the building by Herzog & de Meuron.
To scroll through larger versions of the photos (and several more), click on ‘Continue reading’ below and then on any thumbnail in the gallery.
Next: more about the Schürhof, the sloping courtyard below the columns.
*Admission to the Museum der Kulturen is about $16, but the last hour of the day (4:00 – 5:00 p.m.) is free. This is plenty of time to see the large room of Medieval and Renaissance art displayed there until the prestigious Kunstmuseum Basel, currently being renovated, reopens in 2016. (You can also see some of its late 19th century and early modernist art at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst or Contemporary Art until February 21, 2016. The Gegenwartskunst also has a small exhibition of paintings and sculptures by Cy Twombly until March 13. Admission is free.)