Rundgang Muttenz 2: Oberdorf, Geispel, Gempengasse, Burggasse, Baselstrasse

City tour Oberdorf 1, 4132 Muttenz, CH

Muttenz has a large number of cantonally and communally protected buildings. Many of them are converted and repurposed farmhouses. In addition, there are still many historically interesting (farm) houses. The tour shows the most important house: Oberdorf, Gempengasse, Burggasse, Geispel und Baselstrasse

Author: Heimatkunde Muttenz, Dr. h.c. Helen Liebendörfer und Hanspeter Meier

Wohn- und ehemalige Bauernhäuser

Wohn- und ehemalige Bauernhäuser

Geschützte Bauten, umgebaute und umgenutzte Bauernhäuser, historisch interessante (Bauern-)Häuser...

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21 Stations


Kirchplatz 20, 4132 Muttenz, CH

The exemplary way of preserving and reactivating historical buildings in Muttenz is of decisive importance for the preservation of old townscapes. It can undoubtedly be described as a compromise, not as a compromise in the conventional sense, but as a logical consequence of the structural and social development of our time. In other words, the past is not ignored, but respected and acknowledged. It is important to distinguish between the function of the house as part of a settlement by means of its structure and its external appearance and, on the other hand, its internal function.

Our sources
- Cantonal inventory of protected cultural monuments, canton Basel-Landschaft
- Village inventory of the municipality of Muttenz 2021
- Various documents from the Muttenz museums

Baselstrasse 9 (worthy of protection according to the building inventory)

Baselstrasse 9, 4132 Muttenz, CH

The two-storey residential building with a gable roof stands lengthwise on Baselstrasse and is integrated into the row of houses. The important position of the symmetrically structured house is further emphasized by the protruding part of the house on the street side.
The front door shows the year «A 1871 S». The outside staircase and the railing were renewed in 2000 according to the character of the house. On the south side there is a narrow annex building (also from 2000) with a pent roof.

Baselstrasse 31 (protected)

Baselstrasse 31, 4132 Muttenz, CH

The protected farmhouse at Baslerstrasse No. 31 marks the end of the old village center. In contrast to the other farmhouses in Muttenz, it stands alone with a fountain in front. The farmhouse already appears on the sketches of the geometer Georg Friedrich Meyer. The year 1678 at the entrance shows that the farmhouse was built at that time. The free-standing and therefore striking farmhouse is one of the larger older farmhouses in Muttenz, which is otherwise mainly known for the small farmhouse. As an exception, the entrance to the apartment is on the gable end and does not have a barn entrance as is usual in Muttenz. The late Gothic farmhouse still has all the features of the time. In fact, this farmhouse is one of the most outstanding farmhouses in Muttenz.

Geispelgasse 1

Geispelgasse 3, 4132 Muttenz, CH

According to the investigations into the village inventory in 2021, core parts of this house date from the 15th/16th century.
In the ground plan, some former post-and-beam buildings can be identified by the so-called «Stock», which is now integrated into the stone building. The «Stock» is a bricked, fireproof chamber, usually in the back corner of the house and protruding a little beyond the facade of the wooden building. The square floor plan is characterized by thick walls. Research assumes that «Stocks» were used to store supplies and valuables.

Geispelgasse 3

Geispelgasse 3, 4132 Muttenz, CH

The steeply sloping terrain of Geispelgasse made it possible to dig up the slope and create semi-basements or basements with ground-level access, as seen here.
From 1973 - 1998 there was a café in this house, a family business. Today it is used as a day care center.

Geispelgasse 4

Geispelgasse 2, 4132 Muttenz, CH

Although the house is not included in Meyer's plan, it probably dates from the 17th century, like the entire row of houses.
Part of the garden had to make way for the construction of Pfaffenmattweg at the beginning of the 20th century.
A conversion took place in 1970/71. The influence of the architecture of the Mittenza community center is clearly visible.

Geispelgasse 6

Geispelgasse 6, 4132 Muttenz, CH

According to the investigations into the village inventory in 2021, core parts of the house date from the 15th/16th century.
Alms stones: The farmhouse has strangely large stone balls on the southern corner. They are called "Mure Beeri" in farmhouse research. Sometimes their function is understood as a defense against evil spirits. In the region they can be found on old stone buildings, which were probably exempt from tithing, so that people could beg for alms here.
In the 18th century, the deputy bailiff Johannes Lützler lived here. He was responsible for the lower jurisdiction (e.g. theft). The house apparently had a dungeon. In 1996, during renovations, an oak window frame with a strong iron grating was found in the basement.

Geispelgasse 17 / 19

Geispelgasse 17, 4132 Muttenz, CH

In this ascending section the Geispelgasse consists mainly of small "Taunerhäuschen" (day laborer cottages), which did probably not emerge until the 19th century, but have a decisive influence on the appearance of this alley.
The two "Taunerhäuschen" No. 17 and No. 19 have two floors and are united under a single steep gabled roof. A narrow wooden construction with a pent roof is attached to the northern part. They thus correspond to the type of "Taunerhaus", which usually had only a few rooms. The two "Taunerhäuschen" have been extremely well restored by an architect from Muttenz and furnished for residential purposes.

Oberdorf 2 /4 / 6 (protected), now Farmhouse Museum

Oberdorf 4, 4132 Muttenz, CH

It was a concern of the municipality to preserve a farmhouse in its original condition in order to show later generations how people used to live.
For this reason, the municipality bought the three farmhouses No. 2, No.4 and No.6.

There was a house here as early as 1444. It is mentioned by Hans Thüring Münch as being the property of the «Frühmessstiftung», a foundation. On the plan by G. F. Meyer (1678) the house can be recognized as a detached building with a thatched roof. The current house dates from the 17th/18th century. Since there was a shortage of housing in the 18th century, an apartment consisting of a kitchen and a living room was set up on each floor. The living room on the ground floor had a window on the free gable end, and the kitchen on the first floor had a door. A staircase led to it on the outside of the wall. In 1733 the door and window were bricked up by the addition of the neighboring house No. 2.

Oberdorf 5 (protected)

Oberdorf 5, 4132 Muttenz, CH

The former small farmer's house is located at the end of a small row of houses next to the junction of a narrow side street. The house may have been built in the 17th century. Only the residential part faces the street, so that, seen from the front, one suspects a purely residential building. Not until you look down the alley, you realize that the relatively small barn/stable part has been attached on the back side. All the doors of the barn/stable part open to the already narrow alley. The former small farmer's house is a typical creation of the densification of the buildings in the village center. The original solution with the barn/stable part opening to the narrow alley is a rarity, which we owe solely to the shortage of building land.

Oberdorf 9 (protected)

Oberdorf 11, 4132 Muttenz, CH

The year 1633 on the basement window shows in what year the farmhouse, which was quite large for that time, was built. As the pen sketch by the geometer Friedrich Meyer from around 1678 shows, it already formed a group of houses in the street through which the open stream flowed. It is one of the characteristic farmhouses of the village. Although it was built in the 17th century, it still bears all the characteristics of the late Gothic farmhouse. The fact that it features a barn entrance instead of an entrance in the residential part and the relatively small living quarters are typical for Muttenz.

Oberdorf 29 (protected)

Oberdorf 29, 4132 Muttenz, CH

The gabled former farmhouse belongs to the group of houses that indicate an older type of construction in the sense of a farmstead. In fact, this group of houses can be found on the map of geometer Georg Friedrich Meyer as early as 1678. The core of the house probably dates from the 17th century. It belongs to the multi-purpose house type, where living quarters and the barn/stable part are combined under a continuous roof. In front of the barn, the roof has been brought forward as a shelter allowing people to work in the dry. The entrance with the year 1856 and the initials J.J. stems from a renovation.
The farmhouse does not have the residential entrance through the grange, as is usual in Muttenz. It is possible that the barn entrance was given up when the house was renovated. In any case, it is an interesting building because of its architectural history.

Gempengasse 41 - «Türmlihus» (house with a tower)

Gempengasse 41, 4132 Muttenz, CH

The house is known for the fact that the sidewalk leads through the building, thus avoiding the demolition of part of the house, when the Gempengasse was widened. This situation is not the only one in Muttenz. We have the same situation at the corner of Hauptstrasse 45 and Hinterzweienstrasse, where the pavement runs through the former living room. The «Türmlihus» is a purely residential building. The stone building, whose date of construction is unknown, appears already on G.F. Meyer's plan of 1678. It consists of two house parts, originally on their own plots.
The entrance to both parts of the house is in the rear of the house. A barn is attached to the southern part towards Gempengasse. The entrance to the house leads through the barn to a staircase in the rear of the barn. Attached to the barn is a small farmer's house, which was called «Chalet» because of its appearance.

Gempengasse 48 (protected)

Gempengasse 48, 4132 Muttenz, CH

In the past it was believed that the development of Gempengasse with houses of day laborers and vineyard workers did not take place until the 19th century. However, the pictorial documents from the 17th century teach us that even then there were buildings in a row of houses.
House No. 48 was probably built in the 17th century. It is a narrow, tall building covered with a steep gabled roof. The house has been restored and remodeled in an exemplary manner. It seems relatively high in the alley and shows that here too, the building had to be built upwards, due to the scarcity of land within the village. The alternation between high and low buildings, between agricultural and residential buildings, the staggering and the back and forth of the building lines make up the special charm of the Gempengasse.

Burggasse 2: Inn «zum Schlüssel» (protected)

Burggasse 2, 4132 Muttenz, CH

The largest late Gothic building in Muttenz sets an important accent at the entrance to Burggasse. The property is first mentioned in 1528. The present building was erected between 1600 and 1620. With the arched entrance and the corner pillar at the corner of the building, the façade indicates a late Gothic style. The initials JHR point to the owner Johannes Rösch. The house probably became an inn at that time, named "zum Schlüssel", and is therefore the second oldest inn in Muttenz after the "Rössli". During the turmoil of separation of the two Basle between 1830 and 1833, Johannes Mesmer-Ramstein, the owner of the "Schlüssel", was one of the leading figures and was also elected to the provisional government. In 1848 he granted refuge to the leaders of the Baden Revolution who had fled to the "Schlüssel". The property was acquired by the municipality in 1979 and by the citizens' community in 1983. As early as 1950, the barn/stables part had been replaced by a three-storey residential building. During the conversion by the citizens' community, care was taken to ensure that the interior was not completely renewed. The community has thus saved an important part of the late medieval building fabric.

Burggasse 8: Oldest residential building in Baselland (protected)

Burggasse 8, 4132 Muttenz, CH

This house is the oldest residential building still standing upright in the canton of Basel-Landschaft. A tree ring dating puts the date of the beams installed in the building in the winter of 1417/18. The erection of the house took place at that time, when the castles were already uninhabited and the Burggasse turned into a side street. The house is the only and oldest secular building of a non-seigniorial villager that is still almost completely preserved in the Basel area and far beyond the cantonal borders. It has a floor plan of originally 6 × 6.7 meters and two full floors. It thus represents the modest living and working conditions in the village at the time. It is the archetype of our half-timbered houses and an example of medieval building tradition. A large part of the southern gable has been preserved to this day!

Burggasse 9 (protected)

Burggasse 9, 4132 Muttenz, CH

The slightly recessed farmhouse is in an important location because it closes off the lower part of Burggasse as a street space. Its transverse position makes it appear as a head building. This position is also emphasized by the village fountain in front of the building. According to the date on the arched barn door, the house was built in 1685, but we can gather from the plan of the village drawn by geometer Georg Friedrich Meyer around 1678 that there was a building on this site beforehand. This previous building had the same position, but the Breitestrasse did not yet exist at that time. The farmhouse, built towards the end of the 17th century, consists of a living and a working area, both of which are combined under a continuous gable roof.

Burggasse 11 (protected)

Burggasse 13, 4132 Muttenz, CH

The house is located directly behind the farmhouse that marks the junction of Burggasse and Breitestrasse. It thus forms a group of buildings with house no. 9 and is slightly set back. When the modest small farmer's house was built cannot be proven, but it must have been built in the 18th century. An extension was built at the back of the house in 1859. The date of construction is written on the doorway. Apparently, the residential part was considered too small at the time.
Since the house occupies an important position together with farmhouse No. 9 on Burggasse and forms an ensemble together with the latter, its preservation and above all the restrained conversion are particularly valuable.

Burggasse 17 (protected)

Burggasse 17, 4132 Muttenz, CH

The Burggasse in Muttenz is one of those parts of the old village center that has retained its structure and was never densely built over. On the north side of the alley there are isolated small farm houses. This includes the former small farmhouse No. 17, which, according to the date above the window on the ground floor, was built in 1707. In front of the house there is a small forecourt, the house garden and a fountain.
Wooden extensions were later added to the back, as was customary at the time. In the course of a conversion, the whole house was set up for residential use without major changes being necessary on the outside. With regard to the renovation of the Muttenz farmhouses and their change of purpose, we are faced here with a prime example.

Burggasse 19 (protected)

Burggasse 19, 4132 Muttenz, CH

The former farmhouse at Burggasse 19 is the last house on this side of the street, free-standing at the top of Burggasse and slightly turned away from the street. The house was built in 1777 as indicated on the arched barn door. Various wooden sheds were added later on the back and on the valley side. The interesting small farmhouse was converted into two apartments and restored in 1983. As a typical representative of the Muttenz smallholder house, this building at the end of Burggasse is of particular importance. Thanks to the excellent restoration and the conversion, that also took into account the historical substance, it can be described as one of the particularly attractive farmhouses of the Muttenz village core renovation.

Burggasse 28 (protected)

Burggasse 28, 4132 Muttenz, CH

The former farmhouse is located in the uppermost part of the Burggasse in Muttenz and, together with the farmhouses opposite, closes off the old village center of Muttenz in this direction. It seems that the house was built in the 18th century. The living quarters were adjoined by a barn and a goat pen in the back.The house corresponds in every respect to a small farmer's house or "Taunerhaus", but it entails a reduction of the Muttenz small farmer's house in that the stable was in the back part of the barn and not next to it and was only used for two or three goats. This type of small farmhouse on the outskirts of the village is relatively rare to find. The goat farmer's house on Burggasse has remained completely intact and is unique, even within the village center of Muttenz, which is rich in farmhouse types.

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