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Brausebad

This article was first published on 10th April 2004

Brausebad has, to coin a phrase, “Location, Location, Location”. It also has one of Basel’s best parks. So what else does this pleasant quarter of Gross Basel have to offer?

Schuetzenmattpark

Schuetzenmattpark

Location
Leafy and green Brausebad is within 20 minutes walk of the centre of town. On a bike it takes less than ten. Public transport is well catered for with 3 different tram routes (Nos 1, 6 and 8) and two city bus routes (Nos 33 and 34) which use the adjacent Brausebad or Shuetzenhaus stops.

Brausebad Tram

Brausebad Tram

The bus from the airport also stops here, handy for getting back after those late night flights. If you have ever been to the annual Anglican Church Bazaar to fill up on hard to get items from home and other bargains you will have been just one tram stop away from Brausebad. A ten minute drive in the car and you are in the open countryside behind Allschwil.

Accommodation
There are few individual houses in the area, Blauenstrasse being one of the few streets with any number. There are rather more apartments, mostly in the 2 or 3 room category but there are some larger places. Prices are on the high side, but are not as expensive as either the Gellert or Bruderholz for a similar type of environment. It’s just a shame the majority of places are so small.

Recreation
The main recreational feature of the area must be one of Basel’s best parks, the Shuetzenmattpark. On one side, a ring of chestnut trees surrounds a large grass area popular on sunny days, bounded on the Spalenring side by a carpet of crocuses in spring.

Spring Crocuses

Spring Crocuses

Many joggers have worn a path into the grass under the inside of the ring of chestnuts, whilst roller bladers and small children ride their bikes with Mum in tow around the tarmac path on the outside of the trees.

Further into the park the formal nature of the planting softens as the spaces become smaller and more sheltered from each other, reflecting the change of emphasis from older to younger park-goers. On the North side of this area there is a large paddling pool, very popular in the hot days of summer. A little further around and an environmentally friendly play and climbing area and sandpit complete with “buildable” den is a magnet for younger legs.

The buildable den consists of a fixed framework through which at different levels children can place the cross beams they are strong enough to be able to lift. Whilst the possibility of injury would appear to be high, few accidents occur and kids certainly learn that actions have consequences, and learn about responsibility. Perhaps play areas in other countries should encourage such excellent preparation for adulthood as well.

On the opposite side of the park is the snake. This giant multi-coloured fibreglass tube is large enough for kids to climb inside and through, as well as on and over. Whilst an adult can squeeze inside (in those moments when your little one needs rescuing because they find the going too hard yet absolutely refuse to return the way they came) it is quite uncomfortable, so kids it is. Next to the snake is a small ice cream stall run by a wizened old man who doesn’t stay long, and only when it really is a warm day.

In the middle of the park is the parkcafe Pavillon, an arty and rather expensive but completely smoke free cafe famed for it’s rather “special” menu and some interesting live concerts. They do an excellent brunch on Sundays.

The interior is reminiscent of actually sitting on the stage of a theatre, with dimmed theatre lighting on gantries high over the ashtrayless tables. Some of the interesting live shows they have hosted include the excellent Jazz in the Park series. Although expensive, many families do use the place as it is useful to have somewhere to get a drink after lazing in the sun, playing football, Tai Chi, or just walking behind your three year old.

Although not in the quarter itself, Basel Zoo is also within walking distance, just one tram stop and a short walk out of the quarter, but thankfully far enough away to avoid the smell of the animals which is so pungent in some parts of the adjacent yet generally cheaper Paulusquartier.

Sport
Just across the road from the Schuetzenmattpark lies the stadium for Basel Young Boys football club. Not only do they play league matches here, there is also an excellent tartan athetics track, as well as a wide range of other sporting pitches and a tennis centre.

Shopping and Food
The quarter is well served with shops, and these are mostly to be found along Allschwilerstrasse and Spalenring. Main supermarkets are Migros and CoOp, while smaller shops include the standard locality drugstore, pharmacy, opticians, florist, stationers, plus a couple of grocers, 4 bakeries, a shoe shop, a print bureau, antique shop, a horse riding and carpet shop, driving school, travel agent and even a very well stocked guitar shop.

Not far from the main shopping area is a Post Office, hairdressers, an Italian Barber shop, and the remains of what used to be a local ABM store, now a cut down version selling broadly the same sort of general goods including soaps and shampoos, food and frills. In most countries the giant Migros would not have been allowed to buyout one of its main competitors, but this is Switzerland and pure capitalism in action: only the strong survive, and they can charge what they like when there is no competition, although to be fair Migros does keep its prices low (for Switzerland).

Eating Out
The area offers reasonable choice for eating out. From the rich and sumptuous Schuetzenhaus which is opposite the park of the same name, to the ever popular Turkish Restaurant Marmaris, with a couple of anonymous Italians, an Indian, a Vietnamese, and the interesting and comfortable Restaurant Spalenring that offers a mix of Badisch and Italian food with a little extra style.

Park Sculpture

Park Sculpture

If a small snack is all you are after, the Albanian grocery store does some pretty tasty fast food, but the Marmaris will also be happy to send you on your way with a tasty kebab. The Marmaris is one of the few Restaurants in Basel to have a seperate No Smoking area, which is nearly always full.

Schools
The quarter offers many schools of all levels from Kindergarten through to Gymnasium (Secondary), all within walking distance for the kids as is the custom in Switzerland: safer streets, and better planned communities that do not demand motor transport.

Religion
Brausebad is near to the main venue for the Sunday morning service of the Anglican community in Basel at The Adventhaus by the Zoo, but there are many other religious centres in the area. Just out of the quarter in one direction towards Neubad is the Roman Catholic church, in the opposite direction the Synagogue on the way into town, while the Mosque is a bit further away near the station on the edge of the Gundeli.

Comments

Comment from Adrianne
Time 9th March, 2011 at 3:53 pm

You write a very good description of this area! No guide book or site I have found comes close- very useful for someone trying to work out where could be a good place to live in Basel. Please review all of Basel!

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