If you aren’t watching closely, you could miss it. Basshenge is tucked partly behind some trees with no signs indicating that there is a great little off-road stop. You won’t find a parking lot or walking paths so it is up to you to take the adventure into the tall grass and surround yourself with the beauty of these metal structures. On the north side of Highway 11, you will discover the creation of Basshenge.
In 2001, Joseph Guastafeste, a Chicago Symphony principal and bassist, used his own funding and a grant from the Minnesota Arts Council to bring his design to life. With the help of artists, sculptors, and engineers, the project was completed and unveiled on July 4th, 2001.
Basshenge is modeled after the famous Stonehenge in England. On each of these columns, you will find bass instruments made from steel plating. There are 21 basses in total. The outside ring measures 6’ tall and the inner three are around 10’ tall. To bridge the “stones” Guastafeste used metal crosspieces called lintels. Each has its own meaning or virtue like patience, love, or brotherhood of musicians.
Pack a picnic lunch and blanket, enjoy surrounding yourself in the uniqueness of this northern Minnesota sculpture garden. Close your eyes and breath in the symphony created by the sounds of nature or bring along your own recorded symphony. Either way, you will find refreshment.
Before You Go, Here’s A Tip:
You will find Basshenge in the northern Minnesota border near Birchdale.