The Spalenthor, Basle, Switzerland


This photochrome print of the Spalenthor in Basle (Bâle) is part of “Views of Switzerland” from the catalog of the Detroit Publishing Company (1905). Baedeker’s Switzerland and the adjacent portions of Italy, Savoy, and Tyrol (1913) characterized this tower, which was built around 1400, as “the handsomest of the remaining gates of Bâle.” Located in the St. Paul suburb near the border between Switzerland and France, this tower, with its tiled roof, was one of the two main gates of Basle. It originally served as an outer city defense and medieval fortification, but was also a significant transport point of goods from France. In particular, it controlled traffic from Alsace, which was a major source of Switzerland’s food at the time.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Detroit Publishing Company, Detroit, Michigan


Type of Item

Physical Description

1 photomechanical print : photochrom, color


  • The Detroit Photographic Company was launched as a photographic publishing firm in the late 1890s by Detroit businessman and publisher William A. Livingstone, Jr., and photographer and photo-publisher Edwin H. Husher. They obtained exclusive rights to use the Swiss "Photochrom" process for converting black-and-white photographs into color images and printing them by photolithography. This innovative process was applied to the mass production of color postcards, prints, and albums for sale to the American market. The firm became the Detroit Publishing Company in 1905.
  • Title from the Detroit Publishing Co., Catalogue J--foreign section, Detroit, Mich. : Detroit Publishing Company, 1905.
  • Print no. "1320".

Last updated: September 4, 2013