Danny Yee >> Travelogues >> Switzerland

Basel: Dornach Goetheanum + Tinguely Museum

Mark met me at the station and we took a bus back to the flat he and Marion had in Klein Basel, which has a fantastic a view looking out over the Rhine. I'd never seen the Rhine before, but I have a better feel now for why it's one of the world's great rivers, and why it posed such a barrier to armies.

Thursday 12th August

the Dornach tram
A friend wanted me to get some photos of the Goetheanum, the Steiner headquarters at Dornach, just south of Basel, for a research paper. So I went down there in the morning, by bus and tram.

A short walk from the tram stop, in an ordinary Swiss suburb, the Goetheanum is on a peaceful hilltop. It consists of a distinctive central building with other unusually shaped buildings around it.

It is a School of Spiritual Science and the headquarters of the Anthroposophical Society, and it had the feel of a small school or college out of term time: there were only a few people around, who could have been students or visitors, and there were no formalities involved with visiting at all. There was an exhibition on on Goethe and colours — all in German, but my German was good enough to detect mild crackpottery — and signs up for performances of Steiner's mystery plays.

Goetheanum windows
main Goetheanum buildng
one of the more striking out-buildings

I had arranged to meet Mark and the twins at the Tinguely Museum, so I hot-footed it back to Basel.

an artwork that makes artworks
a Tinguely fountain
a basilisk fountain

I had never seen any of Jean Tinguely's "sculptural machines" before, and found the Tinguely Museum a lot of fun. It's also excellent entertaiment for five year olds who would probably baulk at a more traditional art museum.

My photos from inside aren't particularly good, so here's a link to Google images.

I gave my very rusty German a workout by reading a children's book to Wiki and Loxon, who were happy to correct my mistakes when they could understand what I was saying.

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