basel carnival / basler fasnacht 2
18 Mar 2011
the origins of basel's fasnacht are rather obscure, partly because of the terrible earthquake of 1356 which destroyed large parts of the city and many official archives. the earliest records date back to ash wednesday in 1376, when a jousting tournament on the muensterplatz was the scene of a row between citizens of basel and some knights. the argument escalated into a blood bath and the local citizens chased off the noblemen, killing four of them in the process. retribution was harsh: 12 citizens were beheaded and emperor charles IV placed a ban on the city, which meant the city was no longer afforded the protection of the holy roman empire. this fateful day went down in the annals of basel's history as the "sinister fasnacht" and is the oldest record of fasnacht activities.
dedicated to the queen of humour, puns and bees: mrs. susan littlefield