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How to Find Karl Barth’s Grave

A few weeks ago, Melissa and I traveled over to Basel for a couple of days while my parents watched the kids. Needless to say, as a 100% unquestioning, blindly faithful and uncritical devotee of Karl Barth, it was a transcendent experience, with highlights including a trip to Barth’s last residence up on the Bruderholz as well as dinner at his favorite restaurant, the Walliser Kanne (where, incidentally, I paid nearly 30 francs for what I’m told was Barth’s usual dish – Käseschnitte mit Ei – essentially some very expensive cheese on toast). In any case, going on a tip from a friend, we also made our way over to the Hörnli cemetery to pay our respects to the sleeping Barth clan. Seeing as it was a royal pain in the arse to find the exalted mound, I though it might be helpful to record some more detailed directions for future grave hunters (which, admittedly, is only to expand on the very fine work of this guy – ignoring for the moment his invocation of a certain “theodrama” mentioned at the end of the post).

Right. So here’s how you do it. First off, we took the 31 bus from Schifflände station in the city center, which lets you off right up in front of the Friedhof am Hörnli, the cemetery where Barth is buried.

Now, the technical location of the grave is section 0803, grave 0014 – but if you’re an idiot like me, these numbers are difficult to decipher, particularly if there’s no help available. Basically, the first thing you’ll have to do is find section 8, which is located here:

On the map of section 8, the grave is located here:

If you’re standing near the head of the section, you can see a white wall toward the back. Barth’s headstone is against this wall, about one quarter in from the left.

Success! – here’s a couple stunning pictures of the grave (again, pay no attention to the name that’s slightly cut off in the first one – it’s really not worth your mental energies to think about it).

So there you are – hopefully this will help you should you ever decide to do the right thing and get yourself over to Basel where you belong.

I’ll leave you with one last picture of myself eating the legendary Käseschnitte. It comes highly recommended, but be warned – eating such cuisine has been known to produce the urge to radically revise the doctrine of election.



Posted in cheese on toast, Karl Barth

14 comments on “How to Find Karl Barth’s Grave

  • Now you have to explain why we shouldn’t care about the other woman buried with Barth.

  • De mortuis nil nisi bonum.

  • Hopefully this saves somebody the hours we spent wandering around and (at least me) irritated.

    • Well, I, for one, relished the quality time I got to spend with you (and yes, I regard drinking from a cemetery fountain out of sheer desperation as quality time).

  • I haven’t been to Barth’s grave, and I didn’t know that about the Walliser Kanne.

    My only claim to Barth fame is walking by Neckargasse 10 in Tuebingen fairly regularly. During his uni days Barth was sent to Tuebingen by his father so that Karl’s romantic relationship with Roesey would stop, he could learn some good ‘positive theology,’ and so that his wild streak might lessen somewhat (college Karl liked his beer).

    Barth repaid the favor by calling Tuebingen a ‘wretched hole’ (Busch, p. 43).

    • Nice man – yeah I remember reading about Barth’s crazy days in the “Zofingia” gang just prior to his exile in Tübingen – apparently he was a real bloke for a time.

      Is Neckargasse that street that’s just below the road that goes up to that castle place? I think I remember nearly running down some folks with the massive station wagon we hired around that area…

  • You would have passed it if you had walked from the Neckar-bruecke up to the Stiftskirche (the street has tons of ice cream shops, but that could be any street in Tuebingen, it also has a super cool gummi bear store).

  • Thanks for these directions! I am in Basel and am making the blessed pilgrimage today!

  • Yo man – hope your trip was a success! Expensive city though…

  • Ѕtορ bу my wеb page; roofing

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