• Das Haus zum Kirschgarten

Verein für das Historische Museum Basel (ed.)
Burkard von Roda

Das Haus zum Kirschgarten
Kaufmannspalais und Ordenshaus der Tempelritter - eine Freimaurer-Architektur in Basel

September 2020, 228 pages, 135 mainly colour illustrations, hardcover, 19 x 24 cm, German, with a summary in English and French
ISBN 978-3-85616-924-4

Das Haus zum Kirschgarten

A rarely addressed interplay between Free Masonry and Architecture

Numerous illustrations provide insight into the fascinating world of Free Masons and their Lodges

The splendid Haus zum Kirschgarten – today one of the most important residential museums in Switzerland – was built between 1775 and 1780 as a residential and commercial premises for the Basel silk ribbon manufacturer Johann Rudolf Burckhardt. The book clearly indicates that the architectonic features of the building are to be seen in the context of Free Masonry, which at the time experienced its first highpoint in Switzerland. The rich building symbolism refers to the legends surrounding the origins of Free Masonry, to the mythical derivation from the Jewish-Christian cultural circle and from Greek and Roman Antiquity, but also to the legend of the medieval origins of the Templers. Haus zum Kirschgarten is acknowledged in this book as a singular example of free-masonic architecture in Switzerland and as one of the first ever private lodge houses to be preserved.

Das sorgfältig gestaltete, hochwertig ausgestattete und mit einer fantastischen Fülle von Bildern garnierte Buch wird dem Gegenstand seiner Betrachtungen mehr als gerecht - inhaltlich als auch von seinem äusseren Erscheinungsbild. (Humanität, Dezember 2020)

Occasionally, a very beautiful and unusual volume unexpectedly arrives to lift the spirits of the jaded reviewer of books: the art-historian Burkard von Roda’s tome is just that, a fine piece of book-making. […] This book is a major contribution to a brief, but fascinating episode in European history, when Freemasonry permeated virtually every level of society, and was of enormous cultural importance. (James Stevens Curl, The Critic, 6.05.2021)