The Christoph Merian Foundation (CMS)

Christoph Merian (1800-1858) was a successful Basel entrepreneur with a strong interest in social progress. He and his wife Margaretha (1806-1886) remained childless. Their entire fortune was willed to a foundation - the Christoph Merian Stiftung (CMS) - which has a charter to carry out and support pioneering projects in Basel in the fields of social affairs, ecology, city development and culture.

Christoph and Margaretha Merian and the Basel Mission

During their lives Christoph and Margaretha Merian showed concrete interest in the activities of the Basel Mission. They contributed the funds needed by the organisation to purchase a site and build the mission house dedicated in 1860, which is still in use today.

The CMS and the picture archive of the Basel Mission

Because of its interest in promoting pioneer work the CMS provided an initial and substantial grant in 1989 to support the inventorisation of this collection and the execution of technical procedures to enhance conservation and access. In order to make the results generally available - and to give these fantastic photographs a world-wide audience - CMS again contributed a substantial grant in 2001 to the creation of this website. CMS hopes in this way to inspire a new dialogue concerning colonialism, mission and the relations between different cultures and religions.

A handsome publication from the Christoph Merian Publishers

The CMS own publishing house is producing a book about the history of the Basel Mission in Ghana: Peter A. Schweizer, "Überleben an der Goldküste - Die Basler Missionare im kolonialen Ghana", Basel 2002. The author has been Swiss Ambassador in Accra for a number of years. The book is also available in English: "Survivors on the Gold Coast".


Christoph Merian Stiftung
St. Alban-Vorstadt 5
CH-4002 Basel
Tel. +41 (0)61 226 33 33
Fax +41 (0)61 226 33 44

mission 21 & Basel Mission
HyperStudio- HyperWerk/FHBB
The Christoph Merian Foundation