Basel (/ˈbɑːzəl/; also Basle /bɑːl/; German:
French: Bâle [bɑːl]; Italian: Basilea [baziˈlɛːa]) is a city in
Switzerland on the river Rhine.
Basel is Switzerland's
third-most-populous city (after
Zürich and Geneva) with about 175,000
Located where the Swiss, French and German borders meet,
has suburbs in
France and Germany. In 2014, the
was the third largest in
Switzerland with a population of 537,100
in 74 municipalities in
Switzerland and an additional 53 in
neighboring countries (municipal count as of 2000). The official
Basel is (the Swiss variety of Standard) German, but the
main spoken language is the local variant of the Alemannic Swiss
The city is known for its many internationally renowned museums,
ranging from the Kunstmuseum, the first collection of art accessible
to the public in Europe (1661) and the largest museum of art in the
whole of Switzerland, to the
Fondation Beyeler (located in Riehen).
The University of Basel, founded in 1460, Switzerland's oldest
university and the city's centuries long commitment to humanism, have
Basel a safe haven during times of political unrest in other
parts of Europe to the likes of Erasmus of Rotterdam, the Holbein
family, and more recently also to
Hermann Hesse and Karl Jaspers.
Basel has been the seat of a Prince-Bishopric since the 11th century,
and joined the Swiss Confederacy in 1501. The city has been a
commercial hub and important cultural centre since the Renaissance,
and has emerged as a centre for the chemical and pharmaceutical
industry in the 20th century. In 1897, the city was chosen as the
location for the first
World Zionist Congress
World Zionist Congress by Theodor Herzl, and
all together the congress has taken place in
Basel for ten times over
a time span of 50 years, more than in any other city in the world. The
city is also home to the worldwide seat of the Bank for International
Today the city of Basel, together with two other Swiss cities Zürich
and Geneva, is counted among the cities with the highest standards of
living in the world.
1.1 Early history
1.2 Prince-Bishopric of Basel
1.3 As a member state in the Swiss Confederacy
1.4 Modern history
Basel as a historical, international meeting place
3 Geography and climate
4.3 Coat of arms
4.6 Federal elections
4.6.1 National Council
4.6.2 Council of States
4.7 International relations
4.7.1 Twin towns and sister cities
5.1.1 Historical population
6.2.2 Air transport
6.2.6 Public transport
6.2.7 Border crossings
7.1 Chemical industry
7.5 Trade fairs
8.3 Upper secondary school
8.4 International schools
9.1 Main sights
9.1.1 Heritage sites
9.2 Theatre and music
9.8 Picture gallery
10 Notes and references
11 External links
See also: Timeline of Basel
Roman foundation and medieval wall, at the site of
There are settlement traces on the
Rhine knee from the early La Tène
period (5th century BC). In the 2nd century BC, there was a village of
Raurici at the site of Basel-Gasfabrik, to the northwest of the
Old City, likely identical with the town of Arialbinnum mentioned on
the Tabula Peutingeriana. The unfortified settlement was abandoned
in the 1st century BC in favour of an oppidum on the site of Basel
Minster, probably in reaction to the Roman invasion of Gaul.
In Roman Gaul,
Augusta Raurica was established some 20 km from
Basel as the regional administrative centre, while a castra (castle)
was built on the site of the Celtic oppidum. The city of Basel
eventually grew around the castle. In AD 83,
Basel was incorporated
Roman province of Germania Superior. Roman control over the
area deteriorated in the 3rd century, and
Basel became an outpost of
Provincia Maxima Sequanorum
Provincia Maxima Sequanorum formed by Diocletian.
The Germanic confederation of the
Alemanni attempted to cross the
Rhine several times in the 4th century, but were repelled, one such
event being the
Battle of Solicinium (368). However, in the great
invasion of AD 406, the
Alemanni appear to have crossed the Rhine
river a final time, conquering and then settling what is today Alsace
and a large part of the Swiss Plateau. From this time,
Basel has been
an Alemannic settlement.
Duchy of Alemannia
Duchy of Alemannia fell under Frankish rule in the 6th century,
and by the 7th century, the former bishopric of
Augusta Raurica was
re-established as the Bishopric of Basel. Based on the evidence of a
third solidus with the inscription Basilia fit,
Basel seems to have
minted its own coins in the 7th century. Under bishop Haito, the
first cathedral was built on the site of the Roman castle, later
replaced by a Romanesque structure consecrated in 1019. At the
partition of the Carolingian Empire,
Basel was first given to West
Francia, but passed to East
Francia with the treaty of Meerssen of
The city was plundered and destroyed by a
Magyar invasion of 917. The
rebuilt city became part of Upper Burgundy, and as such was
incorporated into the
Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire in 1032.
Prince-Bishopric of Basel
Main article: Prince-Bishopric of Basel
Basel Minster, built between 1019 and 1500
Since the donation by Rudolph III of Burgundy of the
Moutier-Grandval Abbey and all its possessions to Bishop Adalbero II
in 999 till the Reformation,
Basel was ruled by prince-bishops (see
Bishop of Basel, whose memory is preserved in the crosier shown on
Basel coat-of-arms – see above).
In 1019, the construction of the cathedral of
Basel (known locally as
the Münster) began under Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor. In
1225–1226, a bridge, now known as the Middle Bridge, was constructed
by Bishop Heinrich von
Thun and Lesser
Basel (Kleinbasel) founded as a
bridgehead to protect the bridge. The bridge was largely funded by
Basel's Jewish community which had settled there a century
earlier. For many centuries to come
Basel possessed the only
permanent bridge over the river "between
Lake Constance and the sea".
The Bishop also allowed the furriers to establish a guild in 1226.
Eventually about 15 guilds were established in the 13th century. They
increased the town's, and hence the bishop's, reputation, influence,
and income from the taxes and duties on goods in Basel's expanding
In 1347, the plague came to Europe but did not reach
Basel until June
1349. The guilds, asserting that the Jews were responsible—several
had been tortured and confessed—demanded they be executed, which the
Council did in January 1349, except for a few who escaped to
Alsace. During the
Basel massacre, 600 Jews were murdered. They
were shackled inside a wooden barn on an island in the Rhine, which
was set afire. The few survivors - young orphans - were forcibly
converted to Christianity. The council then forbade Jews in
200 years, except that their money was helpful in rebuilding after the
Basel earthquake of 1356 which destroyed much of the city along with a
number of castles in the vicinity. The city offered courts to nobles
as an alternative to rebuilding their castles, in exchange for the
nobles' military protection of the city.
1493 woodcut of Basle, from the Nuremberg Chronicle
In 1412 (or earlier), the well-known guesthouse Zum Goldenen Sternen
Basel became the focal point of western Christendom
during the 15th century
Council of Basel
Council of Basel (1431–1449), including the
1439 election of antipope Felix V. In 1459,
Pope Pius II
Pope Pius II endowed the
University of Basel
University of Basel where such notables as
Erasmus of Rotterdam
Erasmus of Rotterdam and
Paracelsus later taught. At the same time the new craft of printing
was introduced to
Basel by apprentices of Johann Gutenberg.
Schwabe publishing house was founded in 1488 by
Johannes Petri and
is the oldest publishing house still in business.
Johann Froben also
operated his printing house in
Basel and was notable for publishing
works by Erasmus. In 1495,
Basel was incorporated in the Upper
Rhenish Imperial Circle; the Bishop of
Basel was added to the Bench of
the Ecclesiastical Princes. In 1500 the construction of the Basel
Münster was finished. In 1521 so was the bishop. The Council, under
the supremacy of the guilds, explained that henceforth they would only
give allegiance to the Swiss Confederation, to whom the bishop
appealed but in vain.
As a member state in the Swiss Confederacy
Main article: Canton of Basel
Basel in 1642, engraved by Matthäus Merian, oriented with SW
at the top and NE at the bottom.
The city had remained neutral through the
Swabian War of 1499 despite
being plundered by soldiers on both sides. The Treaty of
the war and granted the Swiss confederates exemptions from the emperor
Maximillian's taxes and jurisdictions, separating
Switzerland de facto
from the Holy Roman Empire.
On 9 June 1501,
Basel joined the Swiss Confederation as its eleventh
canton. It was the only canton that had been asked to join, not
the other way round.
Basel had a strategic location, good relations
Strasbourg and Mulhouse, and control of the corn imports from
Alsace, whereas the Swiss lands were becoming overpopulated and had
few resources. A provision of the Charter accepting
that in conflicts among the other cantons it was to stay neutral and
offer its services for mediation.
In 1503, the new bishop
Christoph von Utenheim refused to give
new constitution whereupon, to show its power, the city began the
construction of a new city hall.
In 1529, the city became Protestant under Oecolampadius and the
bishop's seat was moved to Porrentruy. The bishop's crook was however
retained as the city's coat of arms. For the centuries to come, a
handful of wealthy families collectively referred to as the "Daig"
played a pivotal role in city affairs as they gradually established
themselves as a de facto city aristocracy.
The first edition of Christianae religionis institutio (Institutes of
the Christian Religion – John Calvin's great exposition of Calvinist
doctrine) was published at
Basel in March 1536.
In 1544, Johann von Brugge, a rich Dutch Protestant refugee, was given
citizenship and lived respectfully until his death in 1556 then buried
with honors. His body was exhumed and burnt at the stake in 1559 after
it was discovered that he was the Anabaptist David Joris.
In 1543, De humani corporis fabrica, the first book on human anatomy,
was published and printed in
Basel by Andreas Vesalius
There are indications Joachim Meyer, author of the influential
16th-century martial arts text Kunst des Fechten ("The Art of
Fencing"), came from Basel. In 1662 the Amerbaschsches Kabinett was
Basel as the first public museum of art. Its collection
became the core of the later
Basel Museum of Art.
The Bernoulli family, which included important 17th- and 18th-century
mathematicians such as Jakob Bernoulli,
Johann Bernoulli and Daniel
Bernoulli, were from Basel. The 18th-century mathematician Leonhard
Euler was born in
Basel and studied under Johann Bernoulli.
In 1792, the Republic of Rauracia, a revolutionary French client
republic, was created. It lasted until 1793. After three years of
political agitation and a short civil war in 1833 the disadvantaged
countryside seceded from the Canton of Basel, forming the half canton
On 3 July 1874, Switzerland's first zoo (the Zoo Basel) opened its
doors in the south of the city towards Binningen.
World Zionist Congress
World Zionist Congress in Basel, 1898 (Stadtcasino)
In 1897 the first
World Zionist Congress
World Zionist Congress was held in Basel. Altogether
World Zionist Congress
World Zionist Congress took place in
Basel for ten times, more
than in any other city in the world.
On 16 November 1938, the psychedelic drug
LSD was first synthesized by
Albert Hofmann at
Sandoz Laboratories in Basel.
Basel as a historical, international meeting place
Basel has often been the site of peace negotiations and other
international meetings. The
Treaty of Basel (1499) ended the Swabian
War. Two years later
Basel joined the Swiss Confederation. The Peace
Basel in 1795 between the French Republic and Prussia and Spain
First Coalition against
France during the French
Revolutionary Wars. In more recent times, the World Zionist
Organization held its first congress in
Basel from August 29 through
August 31, 1897. Because of the Balkan Wars, the (Socialist) Second
International held an extraordinary congress at
Basel in 1912. In
Basel Convention was opened for signature with the aim of
preventing the export of hazardous waste from wealthy to developing
nations for disposal.
The name of
Basel is derived from the Roman-era toponym Basilia,
first recorded in the 3rd century. It is presumably derived from the
personal Greek name Basilius. The Old French form Basle was
adopted into English, and developed into the modern French Bâle. The
Icelandic name Buslaraborg goes back to the 12th century Leiðarvísir
og borgarskipan chronicle.
Geography and climate
Basel (in the upper left corner) as seen from
tower St. Chrischona) facing France
Basel has an area, as of 2009[update], of 23.91 square kilometers
(9.23 sq mi). Of this area, 0.95 km2
(0.37 sq mi) or 4.0% is used for agricultural purposes,
while 0.88 km2 (0.34 sq mi) or 3.7% is forested. Of the
rest of the land, 20.67 km2 (7.98 sq mi) or 86.4% is
settled (buildings or roads), 1.45 km2 (0.56 sq mi) or
6.1% is either rivers or lakes.
Of the built up area, industrial buildings made up 10.2% of the total
area while housing and buildings made up 40.7% and transportation
infrastructure made up 24.0%. Power and water infrastructure as well
as other special developed areas made up 2.7% of the area while parks,
green belts and sports fields made up 8.9%. Out of the forested land,
all of the forested land area is covered with heavy forests. Of the
agricultural land, 2.5% is used for growing crops and 1.3% is
pastures. All the water in the municipality is flowing water.
Under the Köppen climate classification,
Basel features a temperate
oceanic (Köppen: Cfb) climate. The city averages 120.4 days of
rain or snow annually and on average receives 842 mm
(33.1 in) of precipitation. The wettest month is May during which
Basel receives an average of 99 mm (3.9 in) of rain.
The month with the most days of precipitation is also May, with an
average of 12.4 days. The driest month of the year is February with an
average of 45 mm (1.8 in) of precipitation over 8.4
Climate data for Basel/Binningen (1981–2010)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average snowfall cm (inches)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)
Average snowy days (≥ 1.0 cm)
Average relative humidity (%)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Percent possible sunshine
Source: MeteoSwiss 
The city of
Basel functions as the capital of the Swiss half-canton of
Basel-Stadt, though several of its suburbs are located in the
Basel-Landschaft or the canton of Aargau. Others are
even located in
France and Germany.
Basel-Stadt consists of three municipalities: Riehen,
Bettingen, and the city
Basel itself. The political structure and
agencies of the city and the canton are identical.
Schöneck (German, "Beautiful Corner") Fountain from 1770 (rebuilt) on
The city itself has 19 quarters:
Grossbasel (Greater Basel):
1 Altstadt Grossbasel
3 Am Ring
5 St. Alban
11 St. Johann
Kleinbasel (Lesser Basel):
12 Altstadt Kleinbasel
Coat of arms
The blazon of the municipal coat of arms is In Silber ein schwarzer
The canton's executive, the Executive Council (Regierungsrat),
consists of seven members for a mandate period of 4 years. They are
elected by any inhabitant valid to vote on the same day as the
parliament, but by means of a system of Majorz, and operates as a
collegiate authority. The president (German: Regierungspräsident(in))
is elected as such by a public election while the heads of the other
departments are assigned by the collegiate. Current president is Dr.
Guy Morin. The executive body holds its meetings in the red Town Hall
(German: Rathaus) on the central Marktplatz. The building was built in
As of 2016[update], Basel's Executive Council is made up of three
representatives of the SP (Social Democratic Party), and one member
each of Green Alliance of
Basel (GB) (who is the president), FDP (Free
Democratic Party), LDP (Liberal-Demokratische Partei of Basel), and
CVP (Christian Democratic Party), giving the left parties a combined
four out of seven seats. The last election was held on 23 October
and 27 November 2016.
The Regierungsrat of Basel for the mandate period 2017–2021
Councilor (Regierungsrat/ -rätin)
Head of Office (Departement, since) of
Elisabeth Ackermann[RR 1]
President's Office (Präsidialdepartement (PD), 2017)
Dr. Eva Herzog[RR 2]
Finance (Finanzdepartement (FD), 2005)
Justice and Security (Justiz- und Sicherheitsdepartement (JSD), 2013)
Economics, Social Services, and Environment (Departement für
Wirtschaft, Soziales und Umwelt (WSU), 2009)
Education (Erziehungsdepartement (ED), 2017)
Dr. Hans-Peter Wessels
Construction and Transportation (Bau- und Verkehrsdepartement (BVD),
Dr. Lukas Engelberger
Health (Gesundheitsdepartement (GD), June 2014)
^ President (Regierungspräsidentin)
^ Vice President (Vizepräsidentin) since June 2014
Barbara Schüpbach-Guggenbühlis is State Chronicler
(Staatsschreiberin) since 2009, and Marco Greiner is Head of
Communication (Regierungssprecher) and Vice State Chronicler
(Vizestaatsschreiber) since 2007 for the Executive Council.
Grosser Rat of
Basel for the mandate period of 2017-2021
The parliament, the Grand Council of
Basel-Stadt (Grosser Rat),
consists of 100 seats, with members (called in German:
Grossrat/Grossrätin) elected every 4 years. The sessions of the Grand
Council are public. Unlike the members of the Executive Council, the
members of the Grand Council are not politicians by profession, but
they are paid a fee based on their attendance. Any resident of Basel
allowed to vote can be elected as a member of the parliament. The
delegates are elected by means of a system of Proporz, and political
parties must have surpassed an election quorum of 4% per election
district in order to enter the council, but this will end with the
next election in 2020. The legislative body holds its meetings in
the red Town Hall (Rathaus).
The last election was held on 23 October 2016 for the mandate period
(Legislatur) of 2017–2021. As of
1 February 2017[update], the Grand Council consist of 35
members of the Social Democratic Party (SP), 15 members of the Swiss
People's Party (SVP), 13 Grünes Bündnis (GB) (a collaboration of the
Green Party (GPS), its junior party, and Basels starke Alternative
(BastA!)), 15 Liberal-Demokratische Partei (LDP) and its junior party,
10 The Liberals (FDP) and its junior party, the representative of the
Bettingen (AB) is associated to the parliamentary group
(Fraktion) of the FDP, 8 (7/1) Christian Democratic People's Party
(CVP)/Evangelical People's Party (EVP), and 3 Green Liberal Party
The left parties miss an absolute majority by two seats.
On 18 October 2015, in the federal election the most popular party was
the Social Democratic Party (SP) which received two seats with 33.5%
of the votes. The next three most popular parties were the FDP
(21.4%), the SVP (17.6%), and the Green Party (GPS) (11.2%), each with
one seat. In the federal election, a total of 57,304 votes were cast,
and the voter turnout was 50.4%.
National Councilors (Nationalrat/ -rätin) of Basle-Town
part of the National Council since
no. of votes
2015 (1991 – 2001)
Council of States
On 18 October 2015, in the federal election State Councilor (German:
Ständerätin) Anita Fetz, member of the Social Democratic Party
(SP), was re-elected in the first round as
single representative of the canton of
Basel-Stadt in the national
Council of States (German: Ständerat) with an absolute majority of
35'842 votes. She has been a member of it since 2003.
Twin towns and sister cities
Basel has two sister cities and a twinning among two states:
Shanghai, China, since 2007
US State Massachusetts, since 2002
Miami Beach, US, since 2011
Largest groups of foreign residents 2013
(incl. Monten. and Kosovo)
Republic of Macedonia
Basel has a population (as of January 2017[update]) of 175,940. As
of 2015[update], 35.5% of the population are resident foreign
nationals. Over the last 10 years (1999–2009 ) the population
has changed at a rate of -0.3%. It has changed at a rate of 3.2% due
to migration and at a rate of -3% due to births and deaths.
Of the population in the municipality 58,560 or about 35.2% were born
Basel and lived there in 2000. There were 1,396 or 0.8% who were
born in the same canton, while 44,874 or 26.9% were born somewhere
else in Switzerland, and 53,774 or 32.3% were born outside of
In 2008[update] there were 898 live births to Swiss citizens and 621
births to non-Swiss citizens, and in same time span there were 1,732
deaths of Swiss citizens and 175 non-Swiss citizen deaths. Ignoring
immigration and emigration, the population of Swiss citizens decreased
by 834 while the foreign population increased by 446. There were 207
Swiss men and 271 Swiss women who emigrated from Switzerland. At the
same time, there were 1756 non-Swiss men and 1655 non-Swiss women who
immigrated from another country to Switzerland. The total Swiss
population change in 2008 (from all sources, including moves across
municipal borders) was an increase of 278 and the non-Swiss population
increased by 1138 people. This represents a population growth rate of
As of 2000[update], there were 70,502 people who were single and never
married in the municipality. There were 70,517 married individuals,
12,435 widows or widowers and 13,104 individuals who are divorced.
As of 2000[update] the average number of residents per living room was
0.59 which is about equal to the cantonal average of 0.58 per
room. In this case, a room is defined as space of a housing unit
of at least 4 m2 (43 sq ft) as normal bedrooms, dining
rooms, living rooms, kitchens and habitable cellars and
attics.:18v About 10.5% of the total households were owner
occupied, or in other words did not pay rent (though they may have a
mortgage or a rent-to-own agreement).:17 As of 2000[update], there
were 86,371 private households in the municipality, and an average of
1.8 persons per household. There were 44,469 households that
consist of only one person and 2,842 households with five or more
people. Out of a total of 88,646 households that answered this
question, 50.2% were households made up of just one person and there
were 451 adults who lived with their parents. Of the rest of the
households, there are 20,472 married couples without children, 14,554
married couples with children There were 4,318 single parents with a
child or children. There were 2,107 households that were made up of
unrelated people and 2,275 households that were made up of some sort
of institution or another collective housing.
In 2000[update] there were 5,747 single family homes (or 30.8% of the
total) out of a total of 18,631 inhabited buildings. There were 7,642
multi-family buildings (41.0%), along with 4,093 multi-purpose
buildings that were mostly used for housing (22.0%) and 1,149 other
use buildings (commercial or industrial) that also had some housing
(6.2%). Of the single family homes 1090 were built before 1919, while
65 were built between 1990 and 2000. The greatest number of single
family homes (3,474) were built between 1919 and 1945.
In 2000[update] there were 96,640 apartments in the municipality. The
most common apartment size was 3 rooms of which there were 35,958.
There were 11,957 single room apartments and 9,702 apartments with
five or more rooms. Of these apartments, a total of 84,675 apartments
(87.6% of the total) were permanently occupied, while 7,916 apartments
(8.2%) were seasonally occupied and 4,049 apartments (4.2%) were
empty. As of 2009[update], the construction rate of new housing
units was 2.6 new units per 1000 residents.
As of 2003[update] the average price to rent an average apartment in
Basel was 1118.60 Swiss francs (CHF) per month (US$890, £500, €720
approx. exchange rate from 2003). The average rate for a one-room
apartment was 602.27 CHF (US$480, £270, €390), a two-room apartment
was about 846.52 CHF (US$680, £380, €540), a three-room apartment
was about 1054.14 CHF (US$840, £470, €670) and a six or more room
apartment cost an average of 2185.24 CHF (US$1750, £980, €1400).
The average apartment price in
Basel was 100.2% of the national
average of 1116 CHF. The vacancy rate for the municipality, in
2010[update], was 0.74%.
Most of the population (as of 2000[update]) speaks German (129,592 or
77.8%), with Italian being second most common (9,049 or 5.4%) and
French being third (4,280 or 2.6%). There are 202 persons who speak
The main synagogue of Basel
From the 2000 census[update], 41,916 or 25.2% were Roman Catholic,
while 39,180 or 23.5% belonged to the Swiss Reformed Church. Of the
rest of the population, there were 4,567 members of an Orthodox church
(or about 2.74% of the population), there were 459 individuals (or
about 0.28% of the population) who belonged to the Christian Catholic
Church, and there were 3,464 individuals (or about 2.08% of the
population) who belonged to another Christian church. There were
12,368 individuals (or about 7.43% of the population) who were
Islamic. There were 1,325 individuals (or about 0.80% of the
population) who were Jewish, however only members of religious
institutions are counted as such by the municipality, which makes the
actual number of people of Jewish descent living in
higher. There were 746 individuals who were Buddhist, 947 individuals
who were Hindu and 485 individuals who belonged to another church.
52,321 (or about 31.41% of the population) belonged to no church, are
agnostic or atheist, and 8,780 individuals (or about 5.27% of the
population) did not answer the question.
Basel is subdivided into 19 quarters (Quartiere). The municipalities
Riehen and Bettingen, outside the city limits of Basel, are
included in the canton of
Basel-Stadt as rural quarters
Altstadt Grossbasel (historic city)
Vorstädte (historical suburbs)
Altstadt Kleinbasel (historic city)
City of Basel
Canton of Basel-Stadt
Basel's airport is set up for airfreight; heavy goods reach the city
and the heart of continental Europe from the
North Sea by ship along
the Rhine. The main European routes for the highway and railway
transport of freight cross in Basel. The outstanding location benefits
logistics corporations, which operate globally from Basel. Trading
firms are traditionally well represented in the
Rhine in Basel
Basel has Switzerland's only cargo port, through which goods pass
along the navigable stretches of the
Rhine and connect to ocean-going
ships at the port of Rotterdam.
EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg
EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg is operated jointly by two
France and Switzerland, although the airport is located
completely on French soil. The airport itself is split into two
architecturally independent sectors, one half serving the French side
and the other half serving the Swiss side; prior to Schengen there was
an immigration inspection point at the middle of the airport so that
people could "emigrate" to the other side of the airport.
Basel Bahnhof SBB, self-proclaimed "world's first international
Basel has long held an important place as a rail hub. Three railway
stations — those of the German, French and Swiss networks — lie
within the city (although the Swiss (
Basel SBB) and French (Bâle
SNCF) stations are actually in the same complex, separated by Customs
Basel Badischer Bahnhof
Basel Badischer Bahnhof is on the
opposite side of the city. Basel's local rail services are supplied by
Basel Regional S-Bahn. The largest goods railway complex of the
country is located just outside the city, spanning
the municipalities of
Muttenz and Pratteln. The new highspeed ICE
railway line from Karlsruhe to
Basel was completed in 2008 while phase
I of the TGV Rhin-Rhône line, opened in December 2011, has reduced
travel time from
Basel to Paris to about 3 hours.
Basel is located on the A3 motorway.
Within the city limits, five bridges connect Greater and Lesser Basel
Schwarzwaldbrücke (built 1972)
Wettsteinbrücke (current structure built 1998, original bridge built
Mittlere Rheinbrücke (current structure built 1905, original bridge
built 1225 as the first bridge to cross the
Johanniterbrücke (built 1967)
Dreirosenbrücke (built 2004, original bridge built 1935)
A somewhat anachronistic yet still widely used system of reaction
ferry boats links the two shores. There are four ferries, each
situated approximately midway between two bridges. Each is attached by
a cable to a block that rides along another cable spanning the river
at a height of 20 or 30 metres. To cross the river, the ferryman
orients the boat around 45° from the current so that the current
pushes the boat across the river. This form of transportation is
therefore completely hydraulically driven, requiring no outside energy
Cable ferry across the
Rhine in Basel
Basel tram network
Basel has an extensive public transportation network serving the city
and connecting to surrounding suburbs, including a large tram network.
The green-colored local trams and buses are operated by the Basler
Verkehrs-Betriebe (BVB). The yellow-colored buses and trams are
operated by the
Baselland Transport (BLT), and connect areas in the
nearby half-canton of Baselland to central Basel. The BVB also shares
commuter bus lines in cooperation with transit authorities in the
Alsace region in
Baden region in Germany. The
Basel Regional S-Bahn, the commuter rail network connecting to suburbs
surrounding the city, is jointly operated by SBB,
SNCF and DB.
Basel is located at the meeting point of France,
Switzerland; because it is so near other countries and is beyond the
Jura Mountains, many within the
Swiss military reportedly believe that
the city is indefensible during wartime. It has numerous road and
rail crossings between
Switzerland and the other two countries. With
Switzerland joining the
Schengen Area on 12 December 2008, immigration
checks were no longer carried out at the crossings. However,
Switzerland did not join the
European Union Customs Union
European Union Customs Union (though it
did join the EU Single Market) and customs checks are still conducted
at or near the crossings.
Switzerland (from east to west)
Road crossings (with French road name continuation)
Kohlenstrasse (Avenue de Bâle, Huningue). This crossing replaces the
former crossing Hüningerstrasse further east.
Elsässerstrasse (Avenue de Bâle, Saint-Louis)
Autobahn A3 (A35 autoroute, Saint-Louis)
EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg – pedestrian walkway between the
French and Swiss sections on Level 3 (departures) of airport.
Burgfelderstrasse (Rue du 1er Mars, Saint Louis)
Basel SBB railway station
Switzerland (clockwise, from north to south)
Road crossings (with German road name continuation)
Hiltalingerstrasse (Zollstraße, Weil am Rhein). Tram 8 goes along
this road to Weil am Rhein. The extension opened in 2014; it used to
end before the border.
Autobahn A2 (Autobahn A5, Weil am Rhein)
Freiburgerstrasse (Baslerstraße, Weil am Rhein)
Riehen (Haupstraße, Weil am Rhein)
Riehen (Baslerstraße, Stetten, Lörrach)
Riehen (Riehenstraße, Inzlingen)
Grenzacherstrasse (Hörnle, Grenzach-Wyhlen)
Basel SBB and
Basel Badischer Bahnhof
Basel Badischer Bahnhof –
Bahnhof, and all other railway property and stations on the right bank
Rhine belong to DB and are classed as German customs territory.
Immigration and customs checks are conducted at the platform exit
tunnel for passengers leaving trains here.
Additionally there are many footpaths and cycle tracks crossing the
Basel and Germany.
University Children's hospital Basel
As the biggest town in the Northwest of
Switzerland numerous public
and private health centres are located in Basel. Among others the
Basel as well as the Universitätskinderspital
Basel. The anthroposophical health institute Klinik-Arlesheim
(formerly known as Lukas-Klinik and Ita-Wegman-Klinik) are both
located in the
Basel area as well. Private health centres include the
Bethesda Spital and the Merian Iselin Klinik. Additionally the Swiss
Tropical and Public Health Institute is located in
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (December
Basel is at the forefront of a national vision to more than halve
energy use in
Switzerland by 2050. In order to research, develop and
commercialise the technologies and techniques required for the country
to become a '2000 Watt society', a number of projects have been set up
since 2001 in the
Basel metropolitan area. These including
demonstration buildings constructed to MINERGIE or Passivhaus
standards, electricity generation from renewable energy sources,
and vehicles using natural gas, hydrogen and biogas. A building
construction law was passed in 2002 also which stated that all new
flat roofs must be greened leading to
Basel becoming the world’s
leading green roof city. This was driven by an energy saving
A hot dry rock geothermal energy project was cancelled in 2009 since
it caused induced seismicity in Basel.
Novartis Campus Basel
The city of Basel, located in the heart of the tri-border region
(called Dreiländereck) is one of the most dynamic economic regions of
As of 2016[update],
Basel had an unemployment rate of 3.7%. As of
2008[update], there were 18 people employed in the primary economic
sector and about 9 businesses involved in this sector. 34,645 people
were employed in the secondary sector and there were 1,176 businesses
in this sector. 120,130 people were employed in the tertiary sector,
with 8,908 businesses in this sector. There were 82,449 residents
of the municipality who were employed in some capacity, of which
females made up 46.2% of the workforce.
In 2008[update] the total number of full-time equivalent jobs was
130,988. The number of jobs in the primary sector was 13, of which 10
were in agriculture and 4 were in forestry or lumber production. The
number of jobs in the secondary sector was 33,171 of which 24,848 or
(74.9%) were in manufacturing, 10 were in mining and 7,313 (22.0%)
were in construction. The number of jobs in the tertiary sector was
97,804. In the tertiary sector; 12,880 or 13.2% were in wholesale or
retail sales or the repair of motor vehicles, 11,959 or 12.2% were in
the movement and storage of goods, 6,120 or 6.3% were in a hotel or
restaurant, 4,186 or 4.3% were in the information industry, 10,752 or
11.0% were the insurance or financial industry, 13,695 or 14.0% were
technical professionals or scientists, 6,983 or 7.1% were in education
and 16,060 or 16.4% were in health care.
In 2000[update], there were 121,842 workers who commuted into the
municipality and 19,263 workers who commuted away. The municipality is
a net importer of workers, with about 6.3 workers entering the
municipality for every one leaving. About 23.9% of the workforce
Basel are coming from outside Switzerland, while 1.0% of
the locals commute out of
Switzerland for work. Of the working
population, 49.2% used public transportation to get to work, and 18.7%
used a private car.
Basel (highest building in Switzerland)
The Roche Tower, designed by Herzog & de Meuron is 41 floors and
178 metres (584 ft) high, upon its opening in 2015 it has become
the tallest building in Switzerland.
Basel has also Switzerland's
third tallest building (Basler Messeturm, 105 m (344 ft))
and Switzerland's tallest tower (St. Chrischona TV tower, 250 m
The Swiss chemical industry operates largely from Basel, and Basel
also has a large pharmaceutical industry. Novartis, Syngenta, Ciba
Specialty Chemicals, Clariant, Hoffmann-La Roche, Basilea
Actelion are headquartered there. Pharmaceuticals
and specialty chemicals have become the modern focus of the city's
Banking is extremely important to Basel:
UBS AG maintains central offices in Basel,
Bank for International Settlements
Bank for International Settlements is located within the city and
is the central banker's bank. The bank is controlled by a board of
directors, which is composed of the elite central bankers of 11
different countries (US, UK, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy,
Japan, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden).
According to the BIS, "The choice of
Switzerland for the seat of the
BIS was a compromise by those countries that established the BIS:
Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the
United Kingdom and the
United States. When consensus could not be reached on locating the
Bank in London, Brussels or Amsterdam, the choice fell on Switzerland.
An independent, neutral country,
Switzerland offered the BIS less
exposure to undue influence from any of the major powers. Within
Basel was chosen largely because of its location, with
excellent railway connections in all directions, especially important
at a time when most international travel was by train."
Created in May 1930, the BIS is owned by its member central banks,
which are private entities. No agent of the Swiss public authorities
may enter the premises without the express consent of the bank.
The bank exercises supervision and police power over its premises. The
bank enjoys immunity from criminal and administrative
jurisdiction, as well as setting recommendations
which become standard for the world's commercial banking system.
Basel is also the location of the
Basel Committee on Banking
Supervision, which is distinct from the BIS. It usually meets at the
BIS premises in Basel. Responsible for the
Basel Accords (
Basel II and
Basel III), this organization fundamentally changed Risk
Management within its industry.
Basel also hosts the headquarters of the Global Infrastructure Basel
Foundation, which is active in the field of sustainable infrastructure
Swiss International Air Lines, the national airline of Switzerland, is
headquartered on the grounds of
EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg in
Saint-Louis, Haut-Rhin, France, near Basel. Prior to the
formation of Swiss International Air Lines, the regional airline
Crossair was headquartered near Basel.
Art Basel (2009)
Basler Zeitung ("BaZ"),
TagesWoche and bz
Basel are the local
newspapers. The local TV Station is called telebasel. The
German-speaking Swiss Radio and Television SRF company, part of the
Swiss Broadcasting Corporation
Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR, holds offices in
well. The academic publishers Birkhäuser, Karger and
MDPI are based
An annual Federal Swiss trade fair (Mustermesse) takes place in
Kleinbasel on the right bank of the
Rhine since 1917. Other important
trade shows include "Baselworld" (watches and jewelry),
Art Basel in
Basel, Swissbau and Igeho.
Humanism the city of
Basel has also always been very famous
for its achievement in the field of mathematics. Among others the
Leonhard Euler and the
Bernoulli family have done
research and been teaching at the local institutions for centuries. In
1910 the Swiss Mathematical Society was founded in the city and in the
mid-twentieth century the Russian mathematician Alexander Ostrowski
taught at the local university. In 2000 about 57,864 or (34.7%) of the
population have completed non-mandatory upper secondary education, and
27,603 or (16.6%) have completed additional higher education (either
university or a Fachhochschule). Of the 27,603 who completed tertiary
schooling, 44.4% were Swiss men, 31.1% were Swiss women, 13.9% were
non-Swiss men and 10.6% were non-Swiss women.
In 2010 11,912 students attended the
University of Basel
University of Basel (55% female).
25% were foreign nationals, 16% were from canton of Basel-Stadt. In
2006 6162 students studied at one of the nine academies of the FHNW
As of 2000[update], there were 5,820 students in
Basel who came from
another municipality, while 1,116 residents attended schools outside
Inauguration ceremony of the University of Basel, 1460
Basel hosts Switzerland's oldest university, the University of Basel,
dating from 1460. Erasmus, Paracelsus, Daniel Bernoulli, Leonhard
Euler, Jacob Burckhardt, Friedrich Nietzsche, Tadeusz Reichstein, Karl
Jaspers, Carl Gustav Jung and
Karl Barth worked here. The University
Basel is currently counted among the 90 best educational
In 2007, the
ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich)
established the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering
(D-BSSE) in Basel. The creation of the D-BSSE was driven by a
Swiss-wide research initiative SystemsX, and was jointly supported by
funding from the
ETH Zürich, the Swiss Government, the Swiss
University Conference (SUC) and private industry.
Basel also hosts several academies of the Fachhochschule
Fachhochschule NW (FHNW): the FHNW Academy of Art and
Design, FHNW Academy of Music, and the FHNW School of Business.
Basel is renowned for various scientific societies, such as the
Entomological Society of
Basel (Entomologische Gesellschaft Basel,
EGB), which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2005.
In 2005 16,939 pupils and students visited the Volksschule (the
obligatory school time, including Kindergarten (127), primary schools
(Primarschule, 25), and lower secondary schools (Sekundarschule,
10), of which 94% visited public schools and 39.5% were
foreign nationals. In 2010 already 51.1% of all pupils spoke another
language than German as their first language. In 2009 3.1% of the
pupils visited special classes for pupils with particular needs. The
average amount of study in primary school in
Basel is 816 teaching
hours per year.
Upper secondary school
In 2010 65% of the youth finished their upper secondary education with
a vocational training and education, 18% finished their upper
secondary education with a Federal
Matura at one of the five
gymnasiums, 5% completed a Fachmaturität at the FMS, 5% completed a
Berufsmaturität synchronosly to their vocational training, and 7%
other kind of upper secondary maturity. 14.1% of all students at
public gymnasiums were foreign nationals. The Maturity quota in 2010
was on a record high at 28.8% (32.8 female, 24.9% male).
The Gymnasium Leonhard
Basel has five public gymnasiums (Gymnasium Bäumlihof (de),
Gymnasium Kirschgarten (de), Gymnasium am
Münsterplatz (de), Gymnasium Leonhard (de),
Wirtschaftsgymnasium und Wirtschaftsmittelschule Basel (de)),
each with its own profiles (different focus on major subjects, such as
visual design, biology and chemistry, Italian, Spanish, or Latin
languages, music, physics and applied mathematics,
philosophy/education/psychology, and economics and law) that entitles
students with a successful
Matura graduation to attend universities.
And one Fachmaturitätsschule, the FMS, with six different major
subjects (health/natural sciences, education, social work, design/art,
music/theatre/dance, and communication/media) that entitles students
with a successful Fachmatura graduation to attend Fachhochschulen.
Four different höhere Fachschulen (higher vocational schools such as
Basel-Stadt (health), Allgemeine
Basel (trade), Berufsfachschule Basel, Schule für
Basel (design)) allows vocational students to improve their
knowledge and know-how.
As a city with a percentage of foreigners of more than thirty-five
percent and as one of the most important centres in the chemical and
pharmaceutical field in the world,
Basel counts several International
Schools including: Academia International School, École Française de
Bâle, Freies Gymnasium
Basel (private), Gymnasium am Münsterplatz
(public), Schweizerisch-italienische Primarschule Sandro Pertini, and
Swiss International School (Basel).
Basel is home to at least 65 libraries. Some of the largest include;
Basel (main university library), the
special libraries of the University of Basel, the Allgemein
Bibliotheken der Gesellschaft für Gutes und Gemeinnütziges (GGG)
Basel, the Library of the Pädagogische Hochschule, the Library of the
Hochschule für Soziale Arbeit and the Library of the Hochschule für
Wirtschaft. There was a combined total (as of 2008[update]) of
8,443,643 books or other media in the libraries, and in the same year
a total of 1,722,802 items were loaned out.
The red sandstone Münster, one of the foremost late-Romanesque/early
Gothic buildings in the Upper Rhine, was badly damaged in the great
earthquake of 1356, rebuilt in the 14th and 15th century, extensively
reconstructed in the mid-19th century and further restored in the late
20th century. A memorial to Erasmus lies inside the Münster. The
City Hall from the 16th century is located on the Market Square and is
decorated with fine murals on the outer walls and on the walls of the
Carnival Fountain (Fasnachtsbrunnen)
Basel is also host to an array of buildings by internationally
renowned architects. These include the
Beyeler Foundation by Renzo
Piano, or the Vitra complex in nearby Weil am Rhein, composed of
buildings by architects such as
Zaha Hadid (fire station), Frank Gehry
Álvaro Siza Vieira
Álvaro Siza Vieira (factory building) and Tadao Ando
Basel also features buildings by Mario Botta
Tinguely Museum and Bank of International settlements) and
Herzog & de Meuron (whose architectural practice is in Basel, and
who are best known as the architects of
Tate Modern in London and the
Bird's Nest in Beijing, the Olympia stadium, which was designed for
use throughout the 2008 Summer Olympics and Paralympics). The city
Wakker Prize in 1996.
Basel features a great number of heritage sites of national
These include the entire Old Town of
Basel as well as the following
buildings and collections:
Churches and monasteries
Old Catholic Prediger Kirche (church), Bischofshof with Collegiate
church at Rittergasse 1, Domhof at Münsterplatz 10–12, former
Carthusian House of St Margarethental, Catholic Church of St Antonius,
Augustinians Collegiate Church), Mission 21, Archive
of the Evangelisches Missionswerk Basel, Münster of Basle
(cathedral), Reformed Elisabethenkirche (church), Reformed
Johanneskirche (church), Reformed Leonhardskirche (church, former
Augustinians Abbey), Reformed Martinskirche (church), Reformed
Pauluskirche (church), Reformed Peterskirche (church), Reformed St.
Albankirche (church) with cloister and cemetery, Reformed
Theodorskirche (church), Synagoge at Eulerstrasse 2
Wildt'sches Haus, Petersplatz
Badischer Bahnhof (Geman Baden's railway station) with fountain, Bank
for International Settlements, Blaues Haus (Reichensteinerhof) at
Rheinsprung 16, Bruderholzschule (school house) at
Fritz-Hauser-Strasse 20, Brunschwiler Haus at Hebelstrasse 15, Bahnhof
Basel SBB (Swiss railway station), Bürgerspital (hospital), Café
Spitz (Merianflügel), Coop Schweiz company's central archive, Depot
of the Archäologischen Bodenforschung des Kanton Basel-Stadt, former
Gallizian Paper Mill and Swiss Museum of Paper, former
Klingental-Kaserne (casern) with Klingentaler Kirche (church),
Fasnachtsbrunnen (fountain), Feuerschützenhaus (guild house of the
riflemen) at Schützenmattstrasse 56, Fischmarktbrunnen (fountain),
Geltenzunft at Marktplatz 13, Gymnasium am Kohlenberg (St Leonhard)
(school), Hauptpost (main post office), Haus zum Raben at
Aeschenvorstadt 15, Hohenfirstenhof at Rittergasse 19, Holsteinerhof
at Hebelstrasse 30,
Markgräflerhof a former palace of the margraves
of Baden-Durlach,Mittlere Rhein Brücke (Central
Stadtcasino (music hall) at Steinenberg 14, Ramsteinerhof at
Rittergasse 7 and 9, Rathaus (town hall), Rundhof building of the
Schweizerischen Mustermesse, Safranzunft at Gerbergasse 11, Sandgrube
at Riehenstrasse 154, Schlösschen (Manor house) Gundeldingen,
Schönes Haus and Schöner Hof at Nadelberg 6, Wasgenring school
house, Seidenhof with painting of Rudolf von Habsburg, Spalenhof at
Spalenberg 12, Spiesshof at Heuberg 7, city walls, Townhouse (former
post office) at Stadthausgasse 13 / Totengässlein 6, Weisses Haus at
Martinsgasse 3, Wildt'sches Haus at Petersplatz 13, Haus zum Neuen
Singer at Speiserstrasse 98, Wolfgottesacker at Münchensteinerstrasse
99, Zerkindenhof at Nadelberg 10.
The Celtic Settlement at Gasfabrik, Münsterhügel and Altstadt
(historical city, late La Tène and medieval settlement).
Museums, archives and collections
Basel calls itself the Cultural Capital of Switzerland.
Among others, there is the Anatomical Museum of the University Basel,
Berri-Villen and Museum of Ancient
Art Basel and Ludwig Collection,
Franciscan Barefoot Order Church and
Basel Historical Museum,
Company Archive of Novartis, Haus zum Kirschgarten which is part of
Basel Historical Museum, Historic Archive Roche and Industrial
Complex Hoffmann-La Roche, Jewish Museum of Switzerland, Caricature
& Cartoon Museum Basel, Karl Barth-Archive, Kleines Klingental
(Lower Klingen Valley) with Museum Klingental, Art Museum of Basel,
hosting the world's oldest art collection accessible to the public,
Natural History Museum of Basel
Natural History Museum of Basel and the Museum of Cultures Basel,
Museum of Modern
Art Basel with the E. Hoffmann collection, Museum
Jean Tinguely Basel, Music Museum, Pharmacy Historical Museum of the
University of Basel, Poster Collection of the School for Design
(Schule für Gestaltung), Swiss Business Archives, Sculpture Hall,
Sports Museum of Switzerland, Archives of the Canton of Basel-Stadt,
UBS AG Corporate Archives, University Library with manuscripts and
music collection, Zoological Garden (Zoologischer Garten).
The Academy of Music of
Basel - (Vorderer Rosengarten)
Theatre and music
Basel is the home of the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, founded in 1933,
a worldwide centre for research on and performance of music from the
Medieval through the Baroque eras. Theater Basel, chosen in 1999 as
the best stage for German-language performances and in 2009 and 2010
Opera of the Year" by German
Opera Magazine "Opernwelt",
presents a busy schedule of plays in addition to being home to the
city's opera and ballet companies.
Basel is home to the largest
orchestra in Switzerland, the Sinfonieorchester Basel. It is also the
home of the Kammerorchester Basel, which is recording the complete
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven for the
Sony label led by its music
director Giovanni Antonini. The Schola Cantorum and the Basler
Kammerorchester were both founded by the conductor
Paul Sacher who
went on to commission works by many leading composers. The Paul Sacher
Foundation, opened in 1986, houses a major collection of manuscripts,
including the entire
Igor Stravinsky archive. The baroque orchestras
La Cetra and Capriccio
Basel are also based in Basel. In May 2004, the
fifth European Festival of Youth Choirs (Europäisches
Jugendchorfestival, or EJCF) choir festival opened: this Basel
tradition started in 1992. Host of this festival is the local Basel
Basel contended to become the "European Capital of Culture",
though the honor went instead to Thessaloniki.
Basel museums cover a broad and diverse spectrum of collections
with a marked concentration in the fine arts. They house numerous
holdings of international significance. The over three dozen
institutions yield an extraordinarily high density of museums compared
to other cities of similar size and draw over one million visitors
Constituting an essential component of
Basel culture and cultural
policy, the museums are the result of closely interwoven private and
public collecting activities and promotion of arts and culture going
back to the 16th century. The public museum collection was first
created back in 1661 and represents the oldest public collection in
continuous existence. Since the late 1980s, various private
collections have been made accessible to the public in new
purpose-built structures that have been recognized as acclaimed
examples of avant-garde museum architecture.
Beyeler Foundation by Renzo Piano, located in Riehen
Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig
Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig Ancient cultures of the
Augusta Raurica Roman open-air museum
Basel Paper Mill
Basel Paper Mill (German: Basler Papiermühle)
Beyeler Foundation (Foundation Beyeler) Beyeler Museum (Fondation
Basel One of the oldest botanical gardens in the
Caricature & Cartoon Museum
Basel (German: Karikatur & Cartoon
Dollhouse Museum (German: Puppenhausmuseum) a museum houring the
largest teddy bear collection in Europe.
Foundation Fernet Branca (French: Fondation Fernet Branca) in
Saint-Louis, Haut-Rhin near Basel. Modern art collection.
Basel (German: Historisches Museum Basel)
Kunsthalle Basel Modern and contemporary art museum
Kunstmuseum Basel Upper Rhenish and Flemish paintings, drawings from
1400 to 1600 and 19th- to 21st-century art
Museum of Cultures Basel
Museum of Cultures Basel (German: Museum der Kulturen Basel) Large
collections on European and non-Europeancultural life
Museum of Contemporary Art Art from the 1960s up to the present
Music Museum (German: Musikmuseum) of the
Basel Historic Museum
Natural History Museum of Basel
Natural History Museum of Basel (German: Naturhistorisches Museum
Pharmazie-Historisches Museum der Universität Basel
Schaulager Modern and contemporary art museum
Swiss Architecture Museum (German: Schweizerisches
Tinguely Museum Life and work of the major Swiss iron sculptor Jean
Vitra Design Museum
Vitra Design Museum Museum in
Weil am Rhein
Weil am Rhein near Basel
Jewish Museum of Switzerland
The city of
Basel is a centre for numerous fairs and events all year
round. One of the most important fairs for contemporary art worldwide
Art Basel which was founded in 1970 by Ernst Beyeler and takes
place in June each year. Baselworld, the watch and jewellery show
(Uhren- und Schmuckmesse) one of the biggest fairs of its kind in
Europe is held every year as well, and attracts a great number of
tourists and dealers to the city. The carnival of the city of Basel
(Basler Fasnacht) is a major cultural event in the year. The carnival
is the biggest in
Switzerland and attracts large crowds every year,
despite the fact that it starts at exactly four in the morning
(Morgestraich) on a winter Monday. The Fasnacht asserts Basel's
Protestant history by commencing the revelry five days after Ash
Wednesday and continuing day and night for exactly 72 hours. Almost
all study and work in the old city cease. Dozens of fife and drum
clubs parade in medieval guild tradition with fantastical masks and
There are a number of culinary specialties originating in Basel,
Basler Läckerli cookies and
Mässmogge candies. Being
located in the meeting place between Switzerland,
France and Germany
the culinary landscape as a whole is very varied and diverse, making
it a city with a great number of restaurants of all sorts.
Antelope House at Zoo Basel
Zoo Basel is, with over 1.7 million visitors per year, the most
visited tourist attraction in
Basel and the second most visited
tourist attraction in Switzerland.
Established in 1874,
Zoo Basel is the oldest zoo in
by number of animals, the largest. Through its history,
Zoo Basel has
had several breeding successes, such as the first worldwide Indian
rhinoceros birth and
Greater flamingo hatch in a zoo. These
and other achievements led
Forbes Travel to rank
Zoo Basel as one of
the fifteen best zoos in the world in 2008.
Despite its international fame, Basel's population remains attached to
Zoo Basel, which is entirely surrounded by the city of Basel. Evidence
of this is the millions of donations money each year, as well as Zoo
Basel's unofficial name: locals lovingly call "their" zoo "Zolli" by
which is it known throughout
Basel and most of Switzerland.
Basel has a reputation in
Switzerland as a successful sporting city.
The football club
FC Basel continues to be successful and in
recognition of this the city was one of the Swiss venues for the 2008
European Championships, as well as Geneva,
Zürich and Bern. The
championships were jointly hosted by
Switzerland and Austria. BSC Old
Concordia Basel are the other football teams in Basel.
Among the most popular sports in
Switzerland is Ice hockey. Basel
is home to the
EHC Basel which plays in the MySports League, the third
tier of the Swiss ice hockey league system. They play their home games
in the 6,700-seat St. Jakob Arena. The team previously played in the
National League and the Swiss League, but they had to fill a
bankruptcy case after the 2013-14
Swiss League season.
Basel features a large football stadium that has been awarded four
stars by UEFA, a modern ice hockey hall, and an admitted sports hall.
A large indoor tennis event takes place in
Basel every October. Some
of the best ATP-Professionals play every year at the Swiss Indoors,
including Switzerland's biggest sporting hero and frequent participant
Roger Federer, a
Basel native who describes the city as "one of the
most beautiful cities in the world".
Rhine Swim draws several thousand visitors to the
city to swim in or float on the
While football and ice hockey are by far the most popular sports,
basketball has a very small but faithful fan base. The top division,
called NLA, is a semi-professional league and has one team from the
Basel region, the "Birstal Starwings". Two players from Switzerland
are currently active in the NBA, Thabo Sefolosha and Clint Capela. As
in most European countries, and contrary to the U.S.,
a club-based rather than a school-based competition system. The
Starwings Basel are the only first division basketball team in
University of Basel
University of Basel (est. in 1460)
Rathaus, Basel's Town Hall
Mittlere Rheinbrücke (Central
Kunstmuseum Basel (Art Museum Basel)
Haus zum Kirschgarten
Bank for International Settlements
Notes and references
^ Arealstatistik Standard - Gemeindedaten nach 4 Hauptbereichen
^ a b c d e f
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stories about Baselcity, Baselland and the green Fricktal and
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Switzerland by population
Free imperial cities of the Holy Roman Empire
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