The Basel Historical Museum with its three sites is widely regarded as the most important museum of cultural history on the Upper Rhine. It collects, conserves, records and researches objects and artefacts of relevance to our cultural heritage for future generations, tells visitors the story of Basel, and is a place for discourse and engagement with both present and future.
With over 3,300 objects to its name, the Basel Historical Museum is in possession of Switzerland’s largest collection of musical instruments. The ca. 650 European instruments, spread over three floors, span five centuries of music history from the oldest drum dating from 1571 and a highly ornate viola da gamba by Joachim Tielke (ca. 1704) to the Weber Unika Orchestrion of 1925. The 24 cells of the former prison serve as showcases in which visitors can admire instruments while calling up countless samples and additional information on an interactive screen. While touring the museum you will therefore hear all sorts of music, from the familiar to the bizarre.