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The Elisabethenkirche, or Offene Kirche Elisabethen, is a 19th century church building in the centre of Basel, next to the Theater Basel, in Switzerland.

It is a well detailed example of Swiss Gothic Revival style churches. It has a 72 metres (236 ft) tall bell tower and spire. The tower has internal stairs.


The church was begun in 1857 and completed in 1864. The construction was sponsored by the wealthy Basel businessman Christoph Merian and his wife Margarethe Burckhardt-Merian. [1] They were both laid to rest in black marble sarcophagi in the crypt below the church's main floor.

The Merians also founded the Christoph-Merian-Stiftung.

Today's congregation forms part of the Evangelical-Reformed Church of the Canton Basel-Stadt.

Present day

Today the church is home of the first Swiss "OpenChurch" or Offene Kirche Elisabethen]. [2] The Offene Kirche Elisabethen caters to the spiritual, cultural and social needs of urban people of all backgrounds: Businesspeople, shoppers, tourists, asylum seekers, working poor, minorities, homeless etc.

The Offene Kirche Elisabethen is well known throughout the region and county for the Fasnachtsgottesdienst, [3] a service in honor of the Carnival of Basel.

Schöpfungsfeier (service with blessing of the human-animal relation), Heilungsfeiern (weekly and trimesterly healing-/blessing services for people in need and sorrow) and their gender aware spiritual practice ("Women at the altar", "Lesbian-Gay-Biseuexual-Transgender"-Community [4] ).

Nearly 50'000 people visit the church per year.

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