Spalentor, also known as the “Gate of Spalen” was constructed in 1356 to protect Basel from attack. These replaced the first city wall built around 1080 and also a newer “Inner” wall from around 1230. Originally the 14th century defensive ring wall had over 40 towers, with several gate towers. It was built beyond the previous walls due to the expansion of Basel. The gate at Spalentor is one of three remaining gates of the original six that were constructed.
The Basel city walls once surrounding the central part of the Swiss city, were mostly demolished in the 19th century and are only partially preserved today. Spalentor is widely considered one of the most magnificent city gates remaining in Switzerland.
The main central square tower, stands flanked on each side by slightly forward standing round towers. The imposing gate would have been seen long before any traveller got close on the approach to the city.
In times past, while the city walls still stood as a solid defensive structure, important supplies and provisions would enter the city of Basel through this gate having arrived from Alsace.
Know Before You Go
There are bus and tram stops named Spalentor which drop off just outside the gate.