Basel, the second-biggest city in Switzerland, with 200,000 people, located at the elbow of the Rhine on the borders of France and Germany. There is just too much history, culture, business and urban life to this regional metropolis at the meeting point of three different nations. Basel is the centre of the pharmaceutical industry and the site of major trade fairs - the oldest of which, the Autumn Fair, has been held annually since 1471.
The evidence of Roman, Alemannic and Frankish trade and military settlements all suggest that Basel area has been a place of permanent settlement since the first and second centuries BC. The name itself derives from Basilia, the Romans name for their camp. The town fell into Frankish hands at the end of the 5th century. In 912 it passed to Burgundy and in 1032 became, along with Burgundy, a part of the German Empire. Basel joined the Swiss Confederation in 1501, and introduced the Reformation in 1529.
Places to visit
There are a lot of nice places to visit in Basel. Here are some of the place, and only to mention few of them. If you need any additional Information, please write to us and we will be happy to advice you.
The Romanesque-Gothic cathedral, which contains the tomb of Erasmus of Rotterdam, was an Episcopal church right up to the Reformation. Standing high above the Rhine, the cathedral offers wonderful views across to Kleinbasel and beyond to the Vosges the Black Forest and the Jura range.
The colourfully-decorated town hall, which stands on the Market-platz, was built in 1504. It is now the meeting place for the Basel cantonal government.
This square lies between the Mittler Rheinbrücke bridge and the marketplatz, and features the high-Gothic former Franciscan church, now home to the historical Museum.
With its beautifully-restored centuries-old houses, the old town quarter around the Spalenberg, the Heuberg and the Nadelberg is a delightful place for a stroll.
The town has the oldest university in Switzerland (1460), some 30 museums, the country's first musical theatre, a town theatre of international renown, and countless small theatres.
Roughly 1000 concerts take place here every year. Basel is known for its music and jazz festivals with top-class performers. There is no shortage of bars, dance halls and discotheques to suit every taste.
The multicultural Kleinbasel on the right bank of the Rhine is the home of the alternative cultural scene. The town centre, around the Marktplatz, is located on the left side of the river.
Visitors can enjoy a stroll through the well-preserved Old Town with its original shops and elegant boutiques, or make excursions into the neighbouring regions of Germany and France (Black Forest and Alsace) or the rural areas of Basel-Country.