54 Facts About Basel


Basel, known as Basle, is a city in northwestern Switzerland on the river Rhine.

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Basel is Switzerland's third-most-populous city with about 175, 000 inhabitants.

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The official language of Basel is German, but the main spoken language is the local Basel German dialect.

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Basel is commonly considered to be the cultural capital of Switzerland and the city is famous for its many museums, including the Kunstmuseum, which is the first collection of art accessible to the public in the world and the largest museum of art in Switzerland, the Fondation Beyeler, the Museum Tinguely and the Museum of Contemporary Art, which is the first public museum of contemporary art in Europe.

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Basel was the seat of a Prince-Bishopric starting in the 11th century, and joined the Swiss Confederacy in 1501.

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In 1897, Basel was chosen by Theodor Herzl as the location for the first World Zionist Congress, and altogether the congress has been held there ten times over a time span of 50 years, more than in any other location.

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In 2019 Basel was ranked the tenth most liveable city in the world by Mercer.

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Name of Basel is first recorded as Basilia in the 3rd century, at the time referring to the Roman castle.

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Currently, the spelling Basel is most often used, to match the official German spelling.

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Roman control over the area deteriorated in the 3rd century, and Basel became an outpost of the Provincia Maxima Sequanorum formed by Diocletian.

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The Alemannic and Frankish settlement of Basel gradually grew around the old Roman castle in the 6th and 7th century.

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At the partition of the Carolingian Empire, Basel was first given to West Francia, but it passed to East Francia with the treaty of Meerssen of 870.

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For many centuries to come Basel possessed the only permanent bridge over the river "between Lake Constance and the sea".

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Basel had gained its de facto independence from both the bishop and from the Habsburgs and was free to pursue its own policy of territorial expansion, beginning around 1400.

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Unique representation of a bishops' crozier as the heraldic charge in the coat of arms of Baselfirst appears in the form of a gilded wooden staff in the 12th century.

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In 1495, Basel was incorporated into the Upper Rhenish Imperial Circle; the Bishop of Basel was added to the Bench of the Ecclesiastical Princes of the Imperial Diet.

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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.

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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.

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Basel's body was exhumed and burnt at the stake in 1559 after it was discovered that he was the Anabaptist David Joris.

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

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In 1967, the population of Basel voted in favor of buying three works of art by painter Pablo Picasso which were at risk of being sold and taken out of the local museum of art, due to a financial crisis on the part of the owner's family.

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Therefore, Basel became the first city in the world where the population of a political community democratically decided to acquire works of art for a public institution.

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Basel has often been the site of peace negotiations and other international meetings.

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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.

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Basel is located in Northwestern Switzerland and is commonly considered to be the capital of that region.

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Any resident of Basel allowed to vote can be elected as a member of the parliament.

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Basel has two sister cities and a twinning among two states:.

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The municipalities of Riehen and Bettingen, outside the city limits of Basel, are included in the canton of Basel-Stadt as rural quarters.

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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.

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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.

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The new highspeed ICE railway line from Karlsruhe to Basel was completed in 2008 while phase I of the TGV Rhin-Rhone line, opened in December 2011, has reduced travel time from Basel to Paris to about 3 hours.

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Basel has an extensive public transportation network serving the city and connecting to surrounding suburbs, including a large tram network.

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Today, Basel has the largest tramway in terms of kilometers of rail tracks in Switzerland.

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Basel is located at the meeting point of France, Germany, and Switzerland; because it sits on the Swiss national border and is beyond the Jura Mountains, many within the Swiss military reportedly believe that the city is indefensible during wartime.

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Basel is at the forefront of a national vision to more than halve energy use in Switzerland by 2050.

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City of Basel, located in the north west of Switzerland, is one of the most dynamic economic regions of Switzerland.

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Besides Humanism the city of Basel has been well known for its achievements in the field of mathematics.

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The University of Basel is currently counted among the 90 best educational institutions worldwide.

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Basel is renowned for various scientific societies, such as the Entomological Society of Basel, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2005.

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Basel has five public gymnasiums, each with its own profiles that entitles students with a successful Matura graduation to attend universities.

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Basel is host to an array of buildings by internationally renowned architects.

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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.

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Theater Basel, chosen in 1999 as the best stage for German-language performances and in 2009 and 2010 as "Opera house 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.

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Basel is home to the largest orchestra in Switzerland, the Sinfonieorchester Basel.

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

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Basel museums cover a broad and diverse spectrum of collections with a marked concentration in the fine arts.

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City of Basel is a centre for numerous fairs and events all year round.

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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.

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Carnival of the city of Basel is a major cultural event in the year.

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Basel Tattoo, founded in 2006 by the local Top Secret Drum Corps, has grown to be the world's second largest military tattoo in terms of performers and budget after the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

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Basel has a reputation in Switzerland as a successful sporting city.

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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, Zurich and Bern.

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Basel is home to the EHC Basel which plays in the MySports League, the third tier of the Swiss ice hockey league system.

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The Starwings Basel are the only first division basketball team in German-speaking Switzerland.

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