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baseline, basel airport
Basel also Basle /ˈbɑːzəl/; German: Basel ; French: Bâle ; Italian: Basilea is a city in northwestern Switzerland on the river Rhine The Basel region culturally extends into German Baden-Württemberg and French Alsace Basel was the seat of a Prince-Bishopric since the 11th century, and joined the Swiss Confederacy in 1501 Basel had been a commercial hub since the Renaissance, and it emerged as a centre for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry in the 20th century

Basel is Switzerland's third-most-populous city behind Zürich and Geneva with about 195,000 inhabitants Located where the Swiss, French and German borders meet, Basel also has suburbs in France and Germany In 2014, the Basel agglomeration 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 tri-national Basel metropolitan area has around 830,000 inhabitants in 226 municipalities

The official language of Basel is the Swiss variety of Standard German, but the main spoken language is the local variant of the Alemannic Swiss German dialect

Basel German belongs to the Low Alemannic group, linking it with Alsatian and Swabian dialects more closely than with the other varieties of Swiss German Basel has been an important cultural centre since the Renaissance and the Age of Enlightenment It has the oldest university of the Swiss Confederation 1460


  • 1 History
    • 11 Early history
    • 12 Prince-Bishopric of Basel
    • 13 As a member state in the Swiss Confederacy
    • 14 Modern history
    • 15 Basel as a historical, international meeting place
  • 2 Geography and climate
    • 21 Topography
    • 22 Climate
  • 3 Politics
    • 31 Canton
    • 32 City
      • 321 Quarters
    • 33 Coat of arms
    • 34 Government
    • 35 Parliament
    • 36 Federal elections
      • 361 National Council
      • 362 Council of States
    • 37 International relations
      • 371 Twin towns and sister cities
  • 4 Demographics
    • 41 Population
      • 411 Historical population
    • 42 Language
    • 43 Religion
  • 5 Infrastructure
    • 51 Quarters
    • 52 Transport
      • 521 Port
      • 522 Air transport
      • 523 Railways
      • 524 Roads
      • 525 Ferries
      • 526 Public transport
      • 527 Border crossings
    • 53 Health
    • 54 Energy
  • 6 Economy
    • 61 Chemical industry
    • 62 Banking
    • 63 Air
    • 64 Media
    • 65 Trade fairs
  • 7 Education
    • 71 Universities
    • 72 Volksschule
    • 73 Upper secondary school
    • 74 International schools
    • 75 Libraries
  • 8 Culture
    • 81 Main sights
      • 811 Heritage sites
    • 82 Theatre and music
    • 83 Museums
    • 84 Events
    • 85 Cuisine
    • 86 Zoo
    • 87 Sport
    • 88 Picture gallery
  • 9 Notes and references
    • 91 Notes
    • 92 References
    • 93 Bibliography
  • 10 External links


See also: Timeline of Basel

Early history

1493 woodcut of the City of Basle, from the Nuremberg Chronicle

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 the 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, and a castle was built on the site of the oppidum The city of Basel eventually grew around the castle

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 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

Basel was incorporated into Germania Superior in AD 83 Roman control over the area deteriorated in 3rd century, and Basel became an outpost of the Provincia Maxima Sequanorum formed by Diocletian The Alamanni attempted to cross the Rhine several times in the 4th century, but were repelled In a 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 The 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 870 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 in 1032

Prince-Bishopric of Basel

Main article: Prince-Bishopric of Basel

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 the Basel coat-of-arms – see above

In 1019, the construction of the cathedral of Basel known locally as the Münster began under German Emperor Heinrich II In 1225–1226, the Bridge over the Rhine 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 found 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 market

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 Basel for 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

In 1412 or earlier, the well-known guesthouse Zum Goldenen Sternen was established Basel became the focal point of western Christendom during the 15th century Council of Basel 1431–1449, including the 1439 election of antipope Felix V In 1459, Pope Pius II endowed the University of Basel where such notables as 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

The 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 Map of 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 Basel ended 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 with 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 Basel required 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 Basel a 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 1514–1564

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 established in 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

Modern history

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 of Basel-Landschaft

On 3 July 1874, Switzerland's first zoo the Zoo Basel opened its doors in the south of the city towards Binningen

Second World Zionist Congress in Basel, 1898 Stadtcasino

In 1897 the first World Zionist Congress was held in Basel Altogether the 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 Swiss chemist 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 of Basel in 1795 between the French Republic and Prussia and Spain ended the First Coalition against France during the French Revolutionary Wars In more recent times, the World Zionist Organization held its first congress in Basel on 3 September 1897 Because of the Balkan Wars, the Second International held an extraordinary congress at Basel in 1912 In 1989, the Basel Convention was opened for signature with the aim of preventing the export of hazardous waste from wealthy to developing nations for disposal

Geography and climate


Basel in the upper left corner as seen from Bettingen television tower St Chrischona facing France

Basel has an area, as of 2009, of 2391 square kilometers 923 sq mi Of this area, 095 km2 037 sq mi or 40% is used for agricultural purposes, while 088 km2 034 sq mi or 37% is forested Of the rest of the land, 2067 km2 798 sq mi or 864% is settled buildings or roads, 145 km2 056 sq mi or 61% is either rivers or lakes

Of the built up area, industrial buildings made up 102% of the total area while housing and buildings made up 407% and transportation infrastructure made up 240% Power and water infrastructure as well as other special developed areas made up 27% of the area while parks, green belts and sports fields made up 89% Out of the forested land, all of the forested land area is covered with heavy forests Of the agricultural land, 25% is used for growing crops and 13% is pastures All the water in the municipality is flowing water


Under the Köppen climate classification, Basel features an Oceanic climate The city averages 1204 days of rain or snow annually and on average receives 842 mm 331 in of precipitation The wettest month is May during which time Basel receives an average of 99 mm 39 in of rain The month with the most days of precipitation is also May, with an average of 124 days The driest month of the year is February with an average of 45 mm 18 in of precipitation over 84 days


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 half-canton of Basel-Landschaft or the canton of Aargau Others are even located in France and Germany


The canton 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 aka Beautiful Corner Fountain from 1770 rebuilt on St Alban-Vorstadt

The city itself has 19 quarters:

  • Grossbasel Greater Basel:
1 Altstadt Grossbasel 2 Vorstädte 3 Am Ring 4 Breite 5 St Alban 6 Gundeldingen 7 Bruderholz 8 Bachletten 9 Gotthelf 10 Iselin 11 St Johann
  • Kleinbasel Lesser Basel:
12 Altstadt Kleinbasel 13 Clara 14 Wettstein 15 Hirzbrunnen 16 Rosental 17 Matthäus 18 Klybeck 19 Kleinhüningen

Coat of arms

The blazon of the municipal coat of arms is In Silber ein schwarzer Baselstab


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 and operates as a collegiate authority The president German: Regierungspräsidentin 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 Rathaus on the central Marktplatz The building was built in 1504–1514

As of 2015, Basel's Executive Council is made up of three representatives of the SP Social Democratic Party, and one member each of Green Party 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 28 October 2012

The Regierungsrat of Basel for the mandate period 2013–2018
Councilor Regierungsrat/ -rätin Party Head of Office Departement, since of

elected since

Dr Guy Morin      GPS President's Office Präsidialdepartement PD, 2009 2004
Dr Eva Herzog      SP Finance Finanzdepartement FD, 2005 2004
Baschi Dürr      FDP Justice and Security Justiz- und Sicherheitsdepartement JSD, 2013 2012
Christoph Brutschin      SP Economics, Social Services, and Environment Departement für Wirtschaft, Soziales und Umwelt WSD, 2009 2008
Dr Christoph Eymann      LDP Education Erziehungsdepartement ED, 2001 2000
Dr Hans-Peter Wessels      SP Construction and Transportation Bau- und Verkehrsdepartement BVD, 2009 2008
Dr Lukas Engelberger      CVP Health Gesundheitsdepartement GD, June 2014 June 2014
  1. ^ President Regierungspräsident
  2. ^ 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 2013-2017

  SP 33%   GB 13%   GLP 5%   CVP/EVP 9%   FDP 13%   LDP 10%   SVP 15%   Volksaktion being fraktionslos 2%

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 member 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 legislative body holds its meetings in the red Town Hall Rathaus

The last election was held on 28 October 2012 for the mandate period Legislatur of 2013–2017 Currently, the Grand Council consist of 33 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 and Basels starke Alternative BastA!, 13 The Liberals FDP the representative of the Aktive Bettingen is associated to the parliamentary group Fraktion of the FDP, 10 Liberal-Demokratische Partei LDP, 9 8/1 Christian Democratic People's Party CVP/Evangelical People's Party EVP, 5 Green Liberal Party GLP, and 2 members of the Volksaktion without an association to a parliamentary group

Federal elections

National Council

On 18 October 2015, in the federal election the most popular party was the Social Democratic Party SP which received two seats with 335% of the votes The next three most popular parties were the FDP 214%, the SVP 176%, and the Green Party GPS 112%, each with one seat In the federal election, a total of 57,304 votes were cast, and the voter turnout was 504%

National Councilors Nationalrat/ -rätin of Basle-Town
Councilor Party part of the National Council since no of votes
Beat Jans      SP 2010 23,149
Silvia Schenker      SP 2003 20,779
Sebastian Frehner      SVP 2010 11,404
Christoph Eymann      LDP 2015 1991 – 2001 11,216
Sibel Arslan      GPS 2015 7,233

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

International relations

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
Nationality Amount  % total
 Germany 15,403 79 228
 Italy 8,112 42 120
 Turkey 6,594 34 98
incl Monten and Kosovo
4,554 23 67
 Spain 3,365 17 50
 Portugal 3,197 16 47
 Republic of Macedonia 2,252 12 33
 United Kingdom 2,153 11 32
 India 1,817 09 27
 France 1,649 08 24
 USA 1,443 07 21
 Austria 1,179 06 17

Basel has a population as of July 2016 of 175,617 As of 2015, 355% of the population are resident foreign nationals Over the last 10 years 1999–2009 the population has changed at a rate of -03% It has changed at a rate of 32% due to migration and at a rate of -3% due to births and deaths

Of the population in the municipality 58,560 or about 352% were born in Basel and lived there in 2000 There were 1,396 or 08% who were born in the same canton, while 44,874 or 269% were born somewhere else in Switzerland, and 53,774 or 323% were born outside of Switzerland

In 2008 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 09%

As of 2000, 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 the average number of residents per living room was 059 which is about equal to the cantonal average of 058 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 105% 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, there were 86,371 private households in the municipality, and an average of 18 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, 502% 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 there were 5,747 single family homes or 308% of the total out of a total of 18,631 inhabited buildings There were 7,642 multi-family buildings 410%, along with 4,093 multi-purpose buildings that were mostly used for housing 220% and 1,149 other use buildings commercial or industrial that also had some housing 62% 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 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 876% of the total were permanently occupied, while 7,916 apartments 82% were seasonally occupied and 4,049 apartments 42% were empty As of 2009, the construction rate of new housing units was 26 new units per 1000 residents

As of 2003 the average price to rent an average apartment in Basel was 111860 Swiss francs CHF per month US$890, £500, €720 approx exchange rate from 2003 The average rate for a one-room apartment was 60227 CHF US$480, £270, €390, a two-room apartment was about 84652 CHF US$680, £380, €540, a three-room apartment was about 105414 CHF US$840, £470, €670 and a six or more room apartment cost an average of 218524 CHF US$1750, £980, €1400 The average apartment price in Basel was 1002% of the national average of 1116 CHF The vacancy rate for the municipality, in 2010, was 074%

Historical population

Pop ±% pa
1850 27,844 —    
1860 38,692 +334%
1870 44,868 +149%
1880 61,737 +324%
1888 71,131 +179%
1900 109,161 +363%
Pop ±% pa
1910 132,276 +194%
1920 135,976 +028%
1930 148,063 +086%
1941 162,105 +083%
1950 183,543 +139%
1960 206,746 +120%
Pop ±% pa
1970 212,857 +029%
1980 182,143 −155%
1990 178,428 −021%
2000 166,558 −069%
2009 165,489 −007%


Most of the population as of 2000 speaks German 129,592 or 778%, with Italian being second most common 9,049 or 54% and French being third 4,280 or 26% There are 202 people who speak Romansh


The synagogue of Basel

From the 2000 census, 41,916 or 252% were Roman Catholic, while 39,180 or 235% belonged to the Swiss Reformed Church Of the rest of the population, there were 4,567 members of an Orthodox church or about 274% of the population, there were 459 individuals or about 028% of the population who belonged to the Christian Catholic Church, and there were 3,464 individuals or about 208% of the population who belonged to another Christian church There were 12,368 individuals or about 743% of the population who were Islamic There were 1,325 individuals or about 080% 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 Basel considerably 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 3141% of the population belonged to no church, are agnostic or atheist, and 8,780 individuals or about 527% of the population did not answer the question



Basel is subdivided into 19 quarters Quartiere The municipalities of Riehen and Bettingen, outside the city limits of Basel, are included in the canton of Basel-Stadt as rural quarters Landquartiere

Quartier Area Population
March 2012
Population Density
Altstadt Grossbasel historic city 3763 2,044 5,4318
Vorstädte historical suburbs 8966 4,638 5,1729
Am Ring 9098 10,512 11,5542
Breite 6839 8,655 12,6554
St Alban 29446 10,681 3,633
Gundeldingen 12319 18,621 15,140
Bruderholz 25961 9,006 3,477
Bachletten 15139 13,330 8,830
Gotthelf 4662 6,784 14,5517
Iselin 10982 16,181 14,840
St Johann 22390 18,560 8,323
Altstadt Kleinbasel historic city 2421 2,276 9,401
Clara 2366 4,043 17,088
Wettstein 7544 5,386 7,1394
Hirzbrunnen 30532 8,676 2,845
Rosental 6433 5,180 8,052
Mattäus 5914 16,056 27,1491
Klybeck 9119 7,234 7,9329
Kleinhüningen 13611 2,772 2,038
City of Basel 227505 175,617 7,736
Bettingen 22269 1,174 534
Riehen 108610 20,971 1,942
Canton of Basel-Stadt 358384 197,762 5,524


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 Basel Region


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

Air transport

EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg is operated jointly by two countries, 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 railway station"

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 and Immigration facilities Basel Badischer Bahnhof is on the opposite side of the city Basel's local rail services are supplied by the 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 downstream:

  • Schwarzwaldbrücke built 1972
  • Wettsteinbrücke current structure built 1998, original bridge built 1879
  • Mittlere Rheinbrücke current structure built 1905, original bridge built 1225 as the first bridge to cross the Rhine River
  • Johanniterbrücke built 1967
  • Dreirosenbrücke built 2004, original bridge built 1935


A somewhat anachronistic yet still widely used system of 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 source

Public transport

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 neighboring Alsace region in France and 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

Border crossings

Basel is located at the meeting point of France, Germany and 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 though it did join the EU Single Market and customs checks are still conducted at or near the crossings

Basel tram

France-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
  • Railway crossing
    • Basel SBB railway station

Germany-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
    • Weilstrasse, Riehen Haupstraße, Weil am Rhein
    • Lörracherstrasse, Riehen Baslerstraße, Stetten, Lörrach
    • Inzlingerstrasse, Riehen Riehenstraße, Inzlingen
    • Grenzacherstrasse Hörnle, Grenzach-Wyhlen
  • Railway crossing
    • Between Basel SBB and Basel Badischer Bahnhof – Basel Badischer Bahnhof, and all other railway property and stations on the right bank of the 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 border between 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 Universitätsspital 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 Basel too


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 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 Switzerland

As of 2014, Basel had an unemployment rate of 46% As of 2008, 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 462% of the workforce

In 2008 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 749% were in manufacturing, 10 were in mining and 7,313 220% were in construction The number of jobs in the tertiary sector was 97,804 In the tertiary sector; 12,880 or 132% were in wholesale or retail sales or the repair of motor vehicles, 11,959 or 122% were in the movement and storage of goods, 6,120 or 63% were in a hotel or restaurant, 4,186 or 43% were in the information industry, 10,752 or 110% were the insurance or financial industry, 13,695 or 140% were technical professionals or scientists, 6,983 or 71% were in education and 16,060 or 164% were in health care

In 2000, 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 63 workers entering the municipality for every one leaving About 239% of the workforce coming into Basel are coming from outside Switzerland, while 10% of the locals commute out of Switzerland for work Of the working population, 492% used public transportation to get to work, and 187% used a private car

Roche Tower 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 820 ft

Chemical industry

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 Pharmaceutica and Actelion are headquartered there Pharmaceuticals and specialty chemicals have become the modern focus of the city's industrial production


Banking is extremely important to Basel:

  • UBS AG maintains central offices in Basel,
  • The 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 Switzerland, 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 I, 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 financing


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 SRG SSR, holds offices in Basel as well

Trade fairs

An annual Federal Swiss trade fair Mustermesse takes place in Kleinbasel on the right bank of the Rhine Other important trade shows include "BaselWorld" watches and jewelry, Art Basel, Orbit and Cultura


In 2000 about 57,864 or 347% of the population have completed non-mandatory upper secondary education, and 27,603 or 166% have completed additional higher education either university or a Fachhochschule Of the 27,603 who completed tertiary schooling, 444% were Swiss men, 311% were Swiss women, 139% were non-Swiss men and 106% were non-Swiss women

In 2010 11,912 students attended the 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 51% female

As of 2000, there were 5,820 students in Basel who came from another municipality, while 1,116 residents attended schools outside the municipality


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 of Basel is currently counted among the 100 best educational institutions worldwide

In 2007, the ETH Zürich 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 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 395% were foreign nationals In 2010 already 511% of all pupils spoke another language than German as their first language In 2009 31% 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 141% of all students at public gymnasiums were foreign nationals The Maturity quota in 2010 was on a record high at 288% 328 female, 249% 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/nutral 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 Bildungszentrum Gesundheit Basel-Stadt health, Allgemeine Gewerbeschule Basel trade, Berufsfachschule Basel, Schule für Gestaltung Basel design allows vocational students to improve their knowledge and know-how

International schools

As a city with a percentage of foreigners of more than thirty 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; the Universitätsbibliothek 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 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


Main sights

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 inner court

Tinguely's 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 Design Museum, Álvaro Siza Vieira factory building and Tadao Ando conference centre Basel also features buildings by Mario Botta Jean 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 received the Wakker Prize in 1996

Heritage sites

Basel features a great number of heritage sites of national significance

These include the entire Old Town of Basel as well as the following buildings and collections:

Elisabethenkirche inside 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, Lohnhof former 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 cemetrery, Reformed Theodorskirche church, Synagoge at Eulerstrasse 2 Wildt'sches Haus, Petersplatz Secular buildings 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 Rhine Bridge, 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 Archaeological sites 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, Former Franciscan Barefoot Order Church and Basel Historical Museum, Company Archive of Novartis, Haus zum Kirschgarten which is part of the 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 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 as "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 symphonies of 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 Boys Choir

In 1997, Basel contended to become the "European Capital of Culture", though the honor went instead to Thessaloniki


The 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 annually

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

The Beyeler Foundation by Renzo Piano, located in Riehen
  • Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig Ancient cultures of the mediterranean museum
  • Augusta Raurica Roman open-air museum
  • Basel Paper Mill German: Basler Papiermühle
  • Beyeler Foundation Foundation Beyeler Beyeler Museum Fondation Beyeler
  • Botanical Garden Basel One of the oldest botanical gardens in the world
  • Caricature & Cartoon Museum Basel German: Karikatur & Cartoon Museum Basel
  • 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
  • Historical Museum 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
  • Monteverdi Automuseum
  • 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 German: Naturhistorisches Museum Basel
  • Pharmazie-Historisches Museum der Universität Basel
  • Schaulager Modern and contemporary art museum
  • Swiss Architecture Museum German: Schweizerisches Architekturmuseum
  • Tinguely Museum Life and work of the major Swiss iron sculptor Jean Tinguely
  • Vitra Design Museum Museum in 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 is the 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 illuminated lanterns, eventually yielding to other loud and irreverent festivity Basel is also host to the Basel Tattoo and a number of fairs


There are a number of culinary specialties originating in Basel, including 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


The Antelope House at Zoo Basel

Zoo Basel is, with over 17 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 Switzerland and, 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 Boys and 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 Swiss Premier 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 NLA and the NLB, but they had to fill a bankruptcy case after the 2013-14 NLB 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"

The annual Basel Rhine Swim draws several thousand visitors to the city to swim in or float on the Rhine river

While football and ice hockey are by far the most popular team sports, basketball has a small but faithful fan base, with strongholds around Lake Geneva, Fribourg, and the Ticino region 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 US, we have a club-based rather than a school-based competition system The Starwings Basel are the only first division basketball team in German-speaking Switzerland

Picture gallery

Notes and references



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  • Basel City in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland
  • "Willkommen in der Basler Zahlenwelt", Statistisches Amt official site in German, Statistisches Amt, Präsidialdepartement des Kantons Basel-Stadt, retrieved 2015-09-02 
  • Gossman, Lionel 2000, Basel in the Age of Burckhardt: A Study in Unseasonable Ideas, Chicago, US: University of Chicago Press, ISBN 0-226-30498-1, archived from the original on 16 June 2008, retrieved 2015-09-02 
  • Gossman, Lionel 1983, Orpheus Philologus: Bachofen versus Mommsen on the Study of Antiquity, American Philosophical Society, ISBN 1-4223-7467-X, retrieved 2015-09-02 – via Wordpress 
  • Kearney, Shirley; Brodhage, Klaus; Ziegler, Cornelia; Warhol, Andy, eds 2005, Basel: A Cultural Experience, Basel, Switzerland: Spalentor Verlag, ISBN 978-3-908142-23-2 
  • Wood, Susan 2006, The Proprietary Church in the Medieval West, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0198206976 – via google books 

External links

  • Official Website
  • Official tourism site
  • Basel Cityguide
  • Rhine Online: an English language guide to Basel, the Alsace and Baden Wuerrtemberg
  • EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg, Basel-Mulhouse Airport
  • Overview of museums in Basel or basel museums
  • Portrait of Basel's tramways
  • Basel Tourism & Hotels
  • Interview with Theodora Vischer, director of the Schaulager in Basel, Switzerland
  • Website for expats moving to or living in Basel
  • Website of the regional television of Basel - Enjoy daily news and stories about Baselcity, Baselland and the green Fricktal and Laufental, together with its citizens

Preceded by
Vienna, Austria 1965
World Gymnaestrada host city
Succeeded by
Berlin, East Germany 1975

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