Fortified Church of St. Arbogast

Basel, Switzerland

Fortified Church of St. Arbogast

The Fortified Church of St. Arbogast (German: Wehrkirche St. Arbogast) in the municipality of Muttenz in the Swiss canton of Basel-Land is the only church in Switzerland that is surrounded by a defensive wall. It is an example of the fortified church type of construction, and is a Swiss heritage site of national significance. The church is still used as a local village church.

The first church on the site was built in the Early Middle Ages, possibly as early as the 6th century but certainly by the 8th century. It is first mentioned in 793. Around 1000 the nave was extended toward the west. The second church was built around 1100. This new building had a wider and longer nave and the choir was rectangular with massive walls. The second church was replaced in the mid-12th century by the third church, parts of which still stand today. The third church, a Romanesque building, had a round apse, a rectangular choir and a bell tower on the north side which were probably grafted on the earlier nave. The church was heavily damaged in the 1356 Basel earthquake. Three years later, under Konrad Münch-Löwenberg, the church was rebuilt. The rounded apse was replaced with the current rectangular choir and the nave was raised to a height of about 1.5 m (4.9 ft) below its current height. In 1420 Hans Thüring Münch-Eptingen became the owner of the village and had a new, larger bell tower built. Five years later, his mother gave the church a bell.

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