Feuerwehrmuseum Basel – Basel, Switzerland - Atlas Obscura

Feuerwehrmuseum Basel

The world's largest collection of fire-fighting items dating back almost 350 years. 


In the heart of Basel stands the campus of the Basel fire brigade, one of the oldest in the country, dating back to the 13th century. The continuity of this remarkable institution resulted in a plethora of remarkable firefighting items that have been preserved since the 1600s.

While the items were simply in storage for most of the time, the department decided to show them to the public in the form of a museum that opened in 1957. It focuses on the evolution of firefighting technology, showcasing a staggering collection of firefighting devices, suits, ladders, and more. From primitive hand-operated fire engines to a state-of-the-art 19th-century circulating oxygen apparatus, the museum has it all.

The collection on display spans centuries and encompasses items from various regions of Switzerland, with a particular emphasis on Basel. Unfortunately, due to space limitations, some of the most captivating vintage fire engines, including the world’s only functioning self-propelled automobile steam engine from 1905 cannot be showcased, but are displayed on the square sometimes. 

Know Before You Go

The museum is accessible on Sundays between 2 pm and 5 pm, access is free. All texts are in German, but you can use your phone to translate or ask the person at the desk. 

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June 22, 2023

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