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Archaeological Cellar

The extensive complex is now home to the Archaeological Cellar: It is a showcase for the presentation of historical buildings in Basel. An excitingly contorted tour leads between two mediaeval city walls, and both are reinforced by a rectangular and half-round tower or their foundations. The former moat in front can also be discerned; finds from its backfill are displayed in showcases.

The cellar room in the wine shop lies right between the two city walls. On one side is a smooth, carefully rendered wall between the bricks: The front, moat-facing side (enemy side) of the older, so-called Burkhardisch city wall (built around 1080 – 1100). The other side of the room is formed by a rough, unrendered wall: The rear of the younger inner city wall (1200-1250). – If you enter this ‘city wall cellar’ from the Lower Theatre, you first cross a rectangular defence tower which belongs to the older wall. However, if you enter through the wine shop, you will see in the floor the foundations of a half-round tower attached to the younger city wall.

The foundation of the younger Inner Wall is more than twice as wide (about 2 – 2.3 m), although it was built long before the use of firearms. It is also much deeper and therefore has a deeper and probably wider moat. The deeper moat necessitated the underpinning of the older fortified tower, which can be seen from the stepped foundation (pillar) in the modern breakthrough between the moat and the fortified tower.