The Martinskirche on Münsterhügel (Cathedral Hill) is the oldest parish church in Basel. Once the site of religious services, it has now become Basel’s most important concert church due to its outstanding acoustics.
The first mention of the Martinskirche dates back to 1101. A fresco by Hans Rohner over the larger portal facing the Martinskirchplatz shows Saint Martin of Tours, the patron of the church. In 1525, the reformer Johannes Oecolampadius was appointed pastor of the church.
Since the late Middle Ages, the bells of the Martinskirche have rung in Basel’s Herbstmesse (autumn fair) and signalled the start of the Morgenstreich that opens the Carnival in Basel.
Today, the Martinskirche is no longer used for religious services. Because of its outstanding acoustics, it has served as a concert hall for orchestras and large choirs since its renovation in the mid-19th century.