Münster gardens, Basel

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The simple garden behind the Münster of Basel, Switzerland, features a bronze replica of the church and its cloisters.

The building — constructed from the 13th century to 1500 — was originally a Roman Catholic cathedral and is now a Reformed Protestant church.

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The harp at Nature’s advent strung
Has never ceased to play;
The song the stars of morning sung
Has never died away. . . .

The blue sky is the temple’s arch,
Its transept earth and air,
The music of its starry march
The chorus of a prayer.

So Nature keeps the reverent frame
With which her years began,
And all her signs and voices shame
The prayerless heart of man.

— John Greenleaf Whittier, from “The Worship of Nature

‘Tis the season, Basel

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We spent Thanksgiving in Basel, Switzerland, arriving in time for the formal opening of the city’s Christmas market.

The lovely old city center, with many buildings from the 14th century, was mostly decorated with fir trees and lights. It was an idyllic place to start the holiday season.

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Leonardskirche labyrinth, Basel

The labyrinth at Leonardskirch, Basel, enclos*ureThe labyrinth at Leonardskirchplatz in Basel, Switzerland, on Thanksgiving Day.

The labyrinth at Leonardskirchplatz, Basel, enclos*ure

The small square — on a hill spur above the old city center — is next to the 15th century Leonardskirche or St. Leonard’s Church.

The labyrinth at Leonardskirchplatz, Basel, enclos*ure

The labyrinth was installed there in 2002 from a design by Agnes Barmettier.

The labyrinth at Leonardskirchplatz, Basel, enclos*ure

On the right side of the sign is a poem, “Labyrinth Spell” by Ingrid Gomolzik, meant to be spoken before entering the circuit: “The labyrinth is a mystery. . . the giant, the path in the middle, the way to ourselves.”

The design features two turning points around linden trees.
The design features two turning points around linden trees.

The labyrinth at Leonardskirchplatz, Basel, enclos*ure

Sculpture of a Basel public servant by Peter Moilliet.
Sculpture of a local politician by Peter Moilliet.

You can scroll through larger versions of the photos by clicking on ‘Continue reading’ below and then on any thumbnail in the gallery.

Torn turned and tattered
Bowed burned and battered
I took untensed time by the teeth
And bade it bear me banking
Out over the walled welter
cities and the sea. . .

Robert P. Baird, from “The Labyrinth