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Coat of arms of Basel
State : SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland
Canton : Canton of Basel-StadtCanton of Basel-Stadt Basel-City (BS)
District : No district division
BFS no. : 2701i1 f3 f4
Postal code : 4000-4059
Coordinates : 611220  /  267 503 coordinates: 47 ° 33 '29 "  N , 7 ° 35' 16"  O ; CH1903:  611220  /  two hundred sixty-seven thousand five hundred and three
Height : 260  m above sea level M.
Height range : 244–369 m above sea level M.
Area : 23.85  km²
Resident: i173,232 (December 31, 2019)
Population density : 7263 inhabitants per km²
Proportion of foreigners :
(residents without
Swiss citizenship )
38.0% (December 31, 2019)
Mayor : none
(role is held by the district president of
the canton of Basel-Stadt)
Basel Minster with the Palatinate and the Middle Rhine Bridge

Basel Minster with the Palatinate and the Middle Rhine Bridge

Location of the municipality
Deutschland Frankreich Kanton Aargau Kanton Basel-Landschaft Basel Bettingen BS RiehenMap of Basel
About this picture

Basel [ˈbɑːsəl] ? / i ( French Bâle , Italian Basilea , Romansh Basilea ? / i ) is a major Swiss city and capital of the canton of Basel-Stadt , which it forms with the communities of Riehen and Bettingen . After Zurich and Geneva , Basel is the third largest city in Switzerland with 173,232 inhabitants . Audio file / audio sample Audio file / audio sample

Basel is considered the cultural capital of Switzerland. With nearly forty museums across the canton and a wide range of cultural activities, Basel is famous for its numerous world-class art and cultural institutions, which makes the city one of the largest cultural centers in Europe in relation to its size and population. The municipal art museum exhibits what is generally considered to be the most important public art collection in Switzerland. With the “Amerbach-Kabinett” acquired by the city in 1661, the collection is considered to be the oldest public art museum in the world.

The University of Basel , founded in 1460, is the oldest in Switzerland and one of the oldest in Europe. Erasmus von Rotterdam , Paracelsus , Daniel Bernoulli , Leonhard Euler , Friedrich Nietzsche , Karl Jaspers , the Nobel laureate Tadeus Reichstein and the philosopher Jeanne Hersch taught and researched at it . The first Zionist World Congress also took place in Basel in 1897, under the leadership of Theodor Herzl . In total, up to the founding of the state of Israel in 1948 , the congress took place ten times in the city on the knee of the Rhine, more than in any other city in the world.

The Basel Minster , together with its Palatinate, forms the historical center of the city on the knee of the Rhine

Basel is a world-leading center for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry , a world-famous exhibition center and an important location as a banking center. The two pharmaceutical companies Novartis and Hoffmann-La Roche as well as the Bank for International Settlements have their global headquarters in Basel.

According to a ranking by the management consultancy Mercer, Basel today (as of 2019) ranks alongside Zurich and Geneva as part of the ten cities with the highest quality of life in the world .


The cathedral hill of Basel viewed from the right bank of the Rhine


Basel, Münsterhügel and Rheinpfalz

The city in the far north-west of Switzerland lies on both sides of the Rhine. In addition to parts of the cantons of Schaffhausen and Zurich , Kleinbasel, with the northern part of the canton of Basel-Stadt, is one of the only areas in Switzerland to the right of the Upper Rhine .

In the urban area of ​​Basel - at the bend in the Rhine between the Swiss Jura and the foothills of the Black Forest - the river changes its direction from east-west to south-north. The Rhine section ends Hochrhein and starts the Upper Rhine . Shortly before this point, the Birs flows into the Upper Rhine on the higher southern bank of the Rhine, which forms the border with the canton of Basel-Landschaft ; The St. Alban-Teich canal, which is derived from the Birs, also flows into the Rhine from the south. Immediately below the Middle Bridge is the mouth of the Birsig , which is the first tributary of the Upper Rhine. Large industrial areas extend on the flatter northern bank, from which the meadow flows into the Upper Rhine.

The Rhine , which characterizes the city, is considered to be an international body of water from its confluence to Basel's old town (historic Middle Rhine Bridge) . Switzerland received these traffic rights in 1868 through the Mannheim Act .

Thanks to its location, Basel soon became a junction of important transport routes and thus an important trading center. The city is therefore one of the most densely populated areas in Europe , but with a large area it has 320 hectares of green space and 71 hectares of forest.

The city of Basel and the two municipalities of Riehen and Bettingen, including their bodies of water, have 3694 hectares, making them the smallest Swiss canton in terms of area. Nevertheless, there are considerable differences in altitude within this relatively small piece of land. The lowest point in the canton of Basel-Stadt is at the Rheinhafen in Kleinhüningen at 245 m, the Münsterplatz in the center is 270 m above sea level, and the highest point is above Bettingen near St. Chrischona at 522 m - there is also the television tower St. Chrischona , the tallest free-standing structure in Switzerland.

Neighboring communities

The city of Basel is located at the southern end of the Upper Rhine Plain and at the western beginning of the High Rhine Plain at the border triangle between Switzerland, Germany and France, and for this reason has suburbs in all three countries. The inhabitants of Basel are called Basler (or Stadtbasler to differentiate from the inhabitants of the canton of Basel-Landschaft ).

The neighboring communities bordering Basel are ( clockwise ):


Thanks to its location in the Rhine Valley, thanks to the Mediterranean air flowing in from the Burgundian Gate and also due to the sheltered location, as in a valley basin, the city ​​of Basel has an extremely mild, sunny climate and, thanks to the Möhlin jet, little fog compared to the Central Plateau in autumn. The annual mean temperature is 10.5 ° C, with the coldest monthly mean temperatures of 1.6 ° C in January and the warmest mean monthly temperatures of 19.7 ° C in July. On average, around 64 frost days and 13 ice days are to be expected here. There are around 52 summer days on average, while there are normally 10.8 hot days . The MeteoSwiss weather station is located at an altitude of 316  m above sea level. M. in the suburb of Binningen , approx. 2 km from the city center ( linear distance ).

At 12.26 ° C, the mean annual temperature in 2018 was 2.52  K above the mean for the period 1961–1990 of 9.74 ° C. There is comparatively little rain with around 842 mm per year (period 1981-2010). This is one of the reasons why various exotic species of plants and palms thrive excellently. The summers can be very hot, while the winters are mostly mild compared to the rest of German-speaking Switzerland.

Basel / Binningen 1981-2010
Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Average monthly temperatures and precipitation for Basel / Binningen 1981–2010
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 4.5 6.4 11.2 15.2 19.6 22.9 25.3 24.7 20.3 15.2 8.7 5.2 O 15th
Min. Temperature (° C) −1.1 −0.5 2.5 5.1 9.2 12.4 14.5 14.2 10.9 7.4 2.7 0.1 O 6.5
Temperature (° C) 1.6 2.7 6.6 10.0 14.2 17.4 19.7 19.1 15.1 10.9 5.5 2.6 O 10.5
Precipitation ( mm ) 47 45 55 64 99 86 91 80 78 73 59 66 Σ 843
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 2.3 3.1 4.0 5.1 5.7 6.5 7.2 6.8 5.3 3.6 2.4 1.7 O 4.5
Rainy days ( d ) 9.3 8.4 9.8 10.2 12.4 10.9 10.2 9.9 8.8 10.1 10.0 10.4 Σ 120.4
Humidity ( % ) 81 76 70 68 72 71 70 72 77 81 82 82 O 75.2
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


A bird's eye view of Basel and the knee of the Rhine from a north-westerly point of view

Basel lies in a depression created by the Rhine , which is surrounded by three low to medium mountain ranges, in the west are the French Vosges , in the east the German Black Forest , in the south, south-west and east foothills of the Jura . As mentioned above, this depression has an impact on the climate of the city and region. The Upper Rhine Plain begins in Basel .

Potential earthquake area

The three plates of the Black Forest, the Vosges and the Jura Mountains collide in the Basle Basin and their continuous movement creates a potential earthquake hazard. Basel is one of the most endangered earthquake areas in Switzerland. One of the largest earthquakes in Switzerland occurred in Basel in 1356 and killed several hundred.

Geothermal energy

In the first years of the 21st century, the idea was born to use geothermal energy to harness the energy of a press-fitted underground water reservoir at a depth of 5000 meters below the city. However, the operators underestimated the risk of earthquakes. After test drilling in 2007 and 2008, the Deep Heat Mining Basel project had to be stopped due to individual tremors and the rock had to be examined more closely. In January 2012 there were criminal proceedings against the project operator, which resulted in an acquittal.


The city is divided into Grossbasel on the left (southwest) side of the Rhine and Kleinbasel on the right bank of the Rhine. The center of Basel is the old town in the Grossbasel area around the market square - where the town hall (construction started in 1504) is also located - and the cathedral hill towering over the Rhine with the Palatinate terrace. The Middle Bridge connects the old town on both sides of the Rhine. The tram runs in the city center, which is free from car traffic .

The city of Basel has no political districts or city districts, but is divided into residential areas, the so-called quarters, for statistical purposes. There are 19 of these quarters spread out to the left and right of the Rhine .

  • Quarters on the left bank of the Rhine → Grossbasel : Old Town Grossbasel, suburbs, Am Ring, Breite, St. Alban / Gellert, Gundeldingen, Bruderholz, Bachletten, Gotthelf, Iselin and St. Johann
  • Quarters on the right bank of the Rhine → Kleinbasel : old town Kleinbasel, Clara, Wettstein, Hirzbrunnen, Rosental, Matthäus and Klybeck as well as Kleinhüningen (incorporated in 1893)
Basel quarters
Quarter Hectares Quarter Hectares
Old town of Grossbasel 37.63 Old town of Kleinbasel 24.21
Suburbs 89.66 Clara 23.66
On the ring 90.98 Wettstein 75.44
broad 68.39 Hirzbrunnen 305.32
St. Alban 294.46 Rose Valley 64.33
Gundeldingen 123.19 Matthew 59.14
Brother wood 259.61 Klybeck 91.19
Bachletten 151.39 Kleinhüningen 136.11
Gotthelf 46.62 City of Basel 2275.05
Iselin 109.82 Riehen 1086.10
St. Johann 223.90 Bettingen 222.69
Canton of Basel-Stadt 3583.84

Each of the quarters is also divided into residential areas. Some residential district names are colloquially synonymous with the quarter, e.g. B. Residential district Kannenfeld (Quartier St. Johann), Lehenmatte (Quartier Breite) or Gellert, Dreispitz and St. Jakob (Quartier St. Alban). An unofficial, city-wide name for parts of the Bachletten and Gotthelf districts is the Neubad .


The origin of the name Basel has not been clearly established. The name is believed to be of Roman origin. The earlier Celtic name of the place is unknown.

The name is probably derived from the well-established Roman personal name Basilius . Place names that go back to a suffixless personal name are relatively common in western Switzerland. These are mostly elliptical expressions in which the original Latin generic word has been omitted. Basel should therefore be an elliptical formation from an original place name of the villa Basilis type . It is unknown who this eponymous Basil was.

There were also other explanations, for example the derivation from the Greek basileus , king, (from which the Latin personal name is also derived) or from basilica ; In 1786 Peter Ochs suggested twelve different interpretations of the name. However, all these alternative explanations are rejected today.

The oldest known source that mentions the name Basel comes from the Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus , who reports that Emperor Valentinian camped with his troops near Basilia in 374 .

A manuscript from the diocese of Basel, the age of which is unknown and which is only dated to “before 1461”, mentions the name Basel in a report on events that took place in the years 237/238 (“Basileam applicuerunt”). However, it cannot necessarily be concluded from this that the name was already in use around 237 .

The Celtic names of both the Basel-Gasfabrik settlement (see below, Paragraph Latènezeit ) and the settlement on the Münsterhügel are unknown. Although Marcellinus mentions a Celtic place name Robur in his report on Valentinian , he evidently refers this name to the fort built by Valentinian on the right bank of the Rhine and not to the settlement.

From the Latin Basilia the Italian variant Basilea developed later, which is used today in almost all Romance languages; The only exception was the old French variant Basle, which is still widespread in English-speaking countries today and from which today's French spelling Bâle arose. The Germanic variant prevailed early on and, with a few exceptions, is also used in the other (Eastern) European and non-European languages; only the West Slavic languages and the Greek language use a variation of the Romance name. The Icelandic exonym Buslaraborg is a specialty ; it comes from the Leiðarvísir published around 1194 by the monk Níkulás Bergsson and is still widely used in Icelandic today.



Paleolithic (Paleolithic)

Finds from the Paleolithic Age are extremely rare in Switzerland, as the traces were destroyed by the glaciers during the last Ice Age . Only the region around Basel remained unglaciated during the last Ice Age.

The oldest trace of human presence in the region is an 18 cm long and 1 kg heavy hand ax made of flint , which was found near Pratteln in 1974 . Originally it was dated to an age of 400,000 to 300,000 years, but according to more recent studies it could also be “only” about 120,000 years old. Either way, this hand ax is the oldest surviving tool in Switzerland. The hand ax was made by a man from Heidelberg or a Neanderthal , depending on the assumed age .

The oldest human find on land in Basel today is a chopper that was found in 1999 in Riehen while excavating for the Gerhalde residential development. Its date is unclear, it could be older than 130,000 years, but also significantly younger. So the chopper was made by a Neanderthal man . Climatically in the region back then conditions like today in Alaska prevailed, the landscape was determined by grassland and groups of trees. The Neanderthals were not sedentary, but hunters who followed their prey seasonally.

Anatomically modern humans immigrated to Europe around 40,000 years ago , while the Neanderthals disappeared for reasons that are still unexplained today. The oldest artifacts found in the region that are assigned to Homo sapiens are 273 pebbles painted with red stripes and apparently deliberately broken pebbles, which were found in a cave in the Arlesheim Ermitage in 1910 and whose age is estimated to be around 12,000 years.

Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age)

After the last ice age , around 9600 BC. A warm phase that continues to this day. The previously open landscape turned into forest. Undoubtedly, people also lived in Basel in the Mesolithic period , but no traces of that time have survived in the region.

Neolithic (Neolithic)

From the 7th millennium BC BC changed the life of the people in Central Europe fundamentally. The nomadic way of life of the hunters and gatherers was replaced by the sedentary peasant way of life with cattle breeding and agriculture. Switzerland was one of the last retreats for the Mesolithic hunters and gatherers. The oldest Neolithic settlements found in the region were dated around 5400 BC. At various locations in the Basel area . Its inhabitants belonged to the so-called band ceramic culture .

There are around 50 Neolithic finds in the Basel-Stadt area. Especially in Riehen and Bettingen, the settlement areas could be delimited quite precisely. A settlement on the edge of the Black Forest foothills on today's Flur Riehen-Bischoffhöhe was built around 3900 BC. Dated. To date (2008) there are no detailed archaeological investigations. The sites are always on fertile soils on a slope or on a terrace, the floodplains of the Rhine, Birs , Birsig and Wiese were avoided. In addition to agriculture and livestock farming, hunting and the gathering of wild fruits were still pursued, which was particularly important for survival when the harvests were poor.

Bronze age

The discovery of bronze in the later 3rd millennium BC In Central Europe from far-reaching changes. While copper was available in the Alps, tin had to be imported from far away, presumably mainly from England. Organized long-distance trade thus developed. The cultures and beliefs became alike: burial places and the shape of objects were similar in all of Central Europe. The society remained mainly rural.

In the Bronze Age (2200 - 800 BC) there were a number of farms and villages around Basel . They were all close to the Rhine, which reflects its importance as a traffic route. Fishing, especially during the salmon migration, is also likely to have played a role in nutrition. Today there is hardly anything left of the wood from the houses and these places can only be identified by finding broken fragments. The oldest known Bronze Age settlement in the region dates back to around 1550 BC. It was located in Kleinhüningen on a flood-protected terrace and was about 5000 m² in size. There were other settlements in today's Kleinbasel and in the «Dalbeloch».

Around 900 BC The first fortified settlement in Basel was built on the northern tip of the cathedral hill, the Martinskirchsporn. The spur of the cathedral hill between the Rhine and Birsig , which slopes steeply on three sides , offered itself as a natural fortress for settlement. The settlement area was about 7000 m². A 9-meter-wide and 3-meter-deep barrier trench could be detected, better preserved sites in other places suggest that a wood-reinforced wall stood behind the trench. Fortified settlements in topographically outstanding and easily accessible locations were common in the Bronze Age. Especially in the Late Bronze Age, hill settlements that were easy to defend emerged in many places.

In front of the settlement on Martinskirchsporn was a 200-meter-wide fore area secured by another ditch. Finds of fire rubble with bricked clay suggest that the settlement fell victim to a fire.

Hallstatt Period (earlier Iron Age)

From 800 BC Iron became important in Central Europe. The previous trade connections were replaced by iron deposits, e.g. B. in the Jura, replaced. The control of the iron deposits as well as the salt deposits was in the hands of a small, very rich upper class. After death, they were lavishly buried in huge burial mounds that can still be seen in the area today (e.g. Hardhäuslischlag in the Muttenzer Hard south of the "Waldhaus"). From the Greeks these people were Celts , the Romans Gauls called. They had a lively commercial relationship with both of them.

The older Iron Age ( Hallstatt Period, 800-450 BC) is characterized primarily by a lack of finds in Basel. In Pratteln and Muttenz, settlements are known to dominate the edge of the Rhine Valley, and traces of settlement from this period have also been found in the surrounding area. It can be assumed that there were homesteads in Basel as well, but they have not yet been proven.

Early history

Latène period (younger iron age)

Around 450 BC There were social and cultural upheavals in the Celtic societies. The custom of the large burial mounds was abandoned and flat grave fields emerged. The people lived in homesteads and scattered hamlets.

People kept leaving to settle elsewhere. The area south of the Alps was particularly attractive; for the Basel area, the Rhone Valley and the Burgundian gateway were an important route to the Mediterranean world. There was an exchange of goods and culture with the Greeks , Etruscans and finally the Romans. The new ideas from the Mediterranean region led to social changes.

The Latène period (450 - 50 BC) is one of the richest epochs in Basel's history. Around 150 BC A large settlement was built in the area of ​​today's Novartis campus, which lasted until 80 BC. Was inhabited. It was discovered in 1911 on the site of what was then the gas factory , and accordingly it is called "Basel gas factory" in archaeological literature. The settlement was unpaved and extended over 150,000 m². The right-angled layout of the streets indicates a planned settlement. It is estimated that over 500 people lived in the settlement.

Its location on the lowest terrace of the bank of the Rhine protected the settlement from flooding, but still provided good access to the Rhine. It is noteworthy that the settlement lies exactly on the line Elsässer Belchen - Kienberg-Burg , which is a bearing line in the Belchen system for the important Celtic festivals of Samhain and Imbolc . It is also located exactly east of the Knöringer “Höllenboden”, which forms the anchor point of the regional blue system.

The archaeological finds testify to prosperity and lively trade relations. Wine amphorae from the Mediterranean region, ceramics from Bohemia and amber from the Baltic states show that the settlement was an important hub of Celtic long-distance trade. The coins found indicate a monetary system that is based on Mediterranean models. Finds show that highly qualified craftsmen worked in the settlement, some of whom had to import the required raw materials.

After 100 BC In the 3rd century BC, intra-Celtic conflicts and the advance of Germanic tribes from the northeast led to a phase of uncertainty. At the same time, the Roman Empire became more and more threatening. Increased protection seems to have been increasing on the Upper Rhine from 80 BC onwards. BC, so even before Caesar's campaigns , to have been a great need. Fortified settlements emerged along the Rhine, while large unfortified settlements were abandoned. At that time, a fortified settlement was built on the Münsterhügel, while the Basel gas factory was abandoned.

Remains of the stone front of the "Murus Gallicus" during excavations in 1971 in Rittergasse 5

The settlement on the Münsterhügel was secured on the south side by a mighty rampart (Caesar called these ramparts Muri Gallici ) and a deep moat. The trench is still visible in the topography (Bäumleingasse). The course of the Celtic street corresponded to today's Ritter- and Augustinergasse. The construction of the road suggests know-how from the Mediterranean area. The settlement area covered around 55,000 m² and was therefore not particularly large for the time. The older Basel-Gasfabrik settlement was around three times as large, which is also an indication that the move to the Münsterhügel was not likely to have been voluntary.

It used to be assumed that the Rauriks had built the settlement in the Rhine valley in 58 BC. To emigrate to Gaul with the Helvetians , and that the settlement on the cathedral hill arose after they were defeated by Gaius Julius Caesar in the battle of Bibracte and sent back to their homeland. This view is now considered out of date.

Roman time

Cast Celtic potin coin with the Celtic name "Cantorix" reproduced in Latin script, found under the Basel Minster

With the conquest of Gaul by Caesar around 52 BC. The region of Basel also came under Roman control. The fortified settlement on the Münsterhügel was ideal for controlling the axes of incidence. Even after the subjugation of Gaul by Caesar, the Celtic structures of the settlement continued to exist for the time being. Celtic nobles ruled the surrounding region on behalf of Rome from the cathedral hill.

Thanks to the concentration of trade, crafts and domination, the well-fortified settlement (the Romans called such fortified settlements Oppida ) functioned as a regional center. Various finds suggest that individual Roman military personnel or a small contingent of Roman troops were stationed to ensure control over the Celtic allies. It was not until the beginning of the Augustan era (i.e. from around 30–20 BC) that the late Celtic buildings on the cathedral hill were demolished. The extensive fortifications were also laid down and a so-called vicus , a Roman village settlement, was created. The newly founded colony town of Augusta Raurica about 10 km up the Rhine , which was at the junction of several trade routes and where there was also a bridge over the Rhine, was now the administrative, cultural and economic center of the region.

In the early 1st century AD the vicus on the cathedral hill extended over the ruins of the Celtic fortification wall to today's St. Alban's moat. The center of the vicus was in the area in front of the Münsterhügel at the fork of the trunk road coming from Augusta Raurica (Rittergasse to Münsterhügel, Freie Strasse to Schifflände). The connection to the traffic routes was now more important than the military security, the supra-regional traffic became an important source of income. From the 1st to the end of the 3rd century, however, Basel was in the shadow of Augusta Raurica with its theaters, baths, temples and the forum.

In the second half of the 1st century AD, the Romans moved the border of the empire to the north. Northwestern Switzerland was no longer a border region. The relatively peaceful period of the Pax Romana followed, with an economic and cultural boom. Immigrants from the Mediterranean area settled north of the Alps. The native Celtic population adopted Roman customs and eating habits.

Late Roman period

A period of domestic and foreign political crises followed from around 250 AD. Germanic peoples, such as the Alemanni , invaded the Roman provinces. The border of the empire was moved back to the Rhine (so-called Limesfall ). Around 270/280 AD the cathedral hill was fortified with a surrounding wall. The residences in the foreground were given up, and their residents either moved behind the fortifications or moved away. A new fortification wall with a moat was built where the Murus Gallicus used to stand. Judging by the few remaining findings, this facility was carefully planned and technically adept. For this reason, among other things, it is considered likely that units of the Roman army were involved in the construction or even coordinated it. Since the necessary stone deposits were not available in Basel, components of representative stone structures were probably brought from Augusta Raurica and installed as spoil in the foundation of the wall - i.e. in an invisible place.

This fortification on the Münsterhügel became part of the sophisticated border security system along the Rhine that was built in the 4th century. The name Basel is mentioned for the first time in connection with this last major Roman fortification program: According to the Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus , Emperor Valentinian I camped with his troops near Basilia in 374 .

After the Visigoth incursions into Italy in the winter of 401/402, Rome withdrew a large part of the troop contingents from the northern Alpine provinces. This marked the beginning of the end of Roman rule. The Romans , the descendants of the Gallo-Roman population, were now largely on their own. The security of the borders was partly taken care of by the Alamanni and Franks as federations of Rome. With the death of the Roman army master Aetius around 454, the military-backed power of the Romans north of the Alps ended. Part of the Romansh population emigrated, but many stayed here and came to terms with their new Germanic neighbors.

middle Ages

Entrance to the Olsbergerhof at Rittergasse 27. The house, which was rebuilt in the Baroque style, dates back to 1389.

At the end of the 5th century, Basel fell to the Franks , who settled in and around Basel. Continuous settlement of Basel is only archaeologically proven from the 7th century onwards. It was during this time that Basel was first mentioned in inscriptions on a gold coin minted there ( Basilia fit ). In the first division of the Frankish Empire Basel fell into the dominion of Lothar I . With the Treaty of Meerssen , Basel fell to the Empire of Ludwig the German in 870 , but came to the Kingdom of Hochburgund around 926/935 . In 917 the city of Basel was destroyed and plundered by the Magyars ; The then bishop was also one of the fatalities. In 1006/32 Basel was annexed to the Roman-German Empire . As early as the early 7th century, there is evidence of a bishop who, like his successors, probably already ruled the city. The bishop's seat had been moved from Augusta Raurica, which had been devastated by the Alemanni, to Basel. Under Bishop Haito, the first cathedral was built on the cathedral hill in the first half of the 9th century , which was then replaced by an early Romanesque building consecrated in 1019.

The town's grain market , today's market square , was first mentioned in 1091 . Around 1100 the city received the first city ​​wall ; others followed in the middle of the 13th and towards the end of the 14th century. Under Bishop Heinrich von Thun , the first Basel Rhine bridge was built around 1225 and the town of Kleinbasel was subsequently created to secure the bridge.

Map of the historical development of the area of ​​the Basel cantons

The city had to cope with several severe strokes of fate in the 14th century. In 1348 almost half of the population died during a plague epidemic , as a result of which the Jewish population was burned on a Rhine island near Birsfelden , which went down in history as the Basel Jewish pogrom , and only eight years later (1356) the Basel earthquake occurred . The most severe earthquake in Central Europe to date claimed only a few victims, but the major fire that followed left large parts of the city to rubble and ashes. The city chronicle, which was re-created from 1357 with the Red Book - the oldest book in the city today - was also destroyed. As a result of a riot of February 26, 1376, which went down in history as the Evil Carnival , the city of Basel was taken over by the Habsburg Duke Leopold III. imposed severe penalties.

In the first half of the 13th century, the city's self-government begins with a council of knights and citizens, documented from 1185/90, who directed the fate of the community with the mayor , mayor (from 1253) and town clerk. The bishop as lord of the city first appointed the council and a bailiff. The bishop decided in his favor in the middle of the 13th century for the first conflicts over control of the city. Attempts by the Habsburgs to integrate the city into their domain failed in the 14th century, but split the citizenship into two parties: the pro-Habsburg "Sterner" and the anti-Habsburg "Psitticher".

The citizens of Grossbasel acquired the town of Kleinbasel from Bishop Friedrich von Blankenheim in 1392 for 29,800 guilders . During this time, the city also acquired the most important regalia ( coinage and customs law , mayor's court , etc.) from the bishop by way of pledge . Basel became effectively independent of the bishop, but could not replace his nominal sovereignty until around 1500. Although the citizens determined the holders of important offices, the ceremonial inauguration continued to be carried out by the bishop. Basel was therefore not considered a free imperial city . The guilds, which were divided into two groups, the gentlemen's guilds and the craftsmen's guilds, played an important role in Basel's political and social life. In addition to four knights and eight so-called eight-burgers (feudal citizens), 15 representatives of the guilds were represented in the council since 1337. The 15 guild masters joined the latter in 1382. The guilds also formed their own college in the city government under the chief guild master, which had great political weight. The Council of Basel , which elected the last antipope , Felix V , in 1439 (→  election of the Pope at Basel Minster ), met in the city from 1431 to 1449. Paper production began in Basel around 1433. A federal contingent was defeated by a French mercenary army in the battle of St. Jakob in 1444 . The university , the first in what is now Switzerland, was founded in 1460 by Pope Pius II . 1471 awarded Emperor Friedrich III. the city the trade fair privilege . At this time, printing was also introduced in Basel . The result was a cultural boom: in addition to the humanist Erasmus von Rotterdam , Paracelsus , Sebastian Brant and Hans Holbein the Younger also stayed in Basel.

Munsterplatz, Basel

Around 1400, the city of Basel began to build up its own territory by acquiring episcopal lordship through pledge or purchase, but initially not very successfully. It was possible to win some lordships in the Sisgau, but the attempt to expand into the Laufental and over the Hauenstein (Olten) failed. Basel was ambivalent towards the Swiss Confederation. While it fought on the side of the Confederates in the Burgundian Wars , it remained neutral in the Swabian War. At times fierce conflicts arose between Solothurn and Basel over the rights of rule in the Sisgau, mainly because of Dorneck. The actual completion of the formation of the territory of the city of Basel was the acquisition of Pratteln in 1525, which connected the ruled areas. Until the end of the city-state in 1798, only smaller acquisitions could be made.

Modern times

Venus and Cupid, Hans Holbein the Younger ( Kunstmuseum Basel , c. 1524)

After the Swabian and Swiss Wars in 1499, Basel turned to the Swiss Confederation , which it joined on July 13, 1501 as the eleventh place. The weakening of the aristocratic and the strengthening of the bourgeois elements played an important role as a prerequisite. A change in the council constitution, which secured the guilds the supremacy, took place in 1521. At the same time, the unilateral complete emancipation from the rule of the bishop took place, in that the appointment of offices was now also formally carried out by the council. The humanist Erasmus von Rotterdam , who lives in Basel , had the Greek New Testament printed here with its Latin translation in 1516 and 1519 . Both the German reformer Martin Luther and the English clergyman William Tyndale used the second edition as the basis for their Bible translations. Johannes Oekolampad worked for Erasmus from 1515 to 1516 and then returned to Basel as pastor and professor in 1522, where he became the city's most important reformer. In 1525 he celebrated the first evangelical communion with his congregation , in 1526 his order of worship appeared and in 1528 he married Wibrandis Rosenblatt . After an iconoclasm and guild uprising , Basel converted to the Reformation in 1529 . On May 12, 1529, the canons and chaplains , who did not change to the Reformation or move to their secondary beneficiaries , moved to Freiburg im Breisgau . On August 28, 1529, the cathedral chapter concluded a contract with the city of Freiburg on legal and tax matters, the purchase of houses, the chapter house and office building as well as the use of the minster. Basel was no longer the seat of the bishop or the cathedral chapter and was never again. From 1587 the administrative seat of the cathedral chapter was the Stürtzelsche Haus, today called Basler Hof . In 1585, in the Treaty of Baden, the city also formally acquired all episcopal rulership rights in the city and over its territory and thus became finally independent.

In 1535 the persecuted Johannes Calvin came from France and was accepted in Basel. Here he wrote his Institutio Christianae religionis (German: teaching in the Christian religion ), one of the most effective evangelical writings of the Reformation, printed in Basel in 1536. Similar to Geneva, Basel had become an important refuge and new home for Italian and French evangelical refugees from 1530 to 1700. The immigrant families were not only a burden for the city, but also a social and economic enrichment through their education and knowledge in silk production and trade and in textile dyeing, which they brought with them and settled in the city. In 1543 the first complete textbook on human anatomy De Humani Corporis Fabrica (On the structure of the human body) by Andreas Vesalius (1514–1564) was published in Basel and was printed in the office of Johannes Oporinus . The grammar school was founded in 1589 as the successor to the Latin school of the Domstift (today grammar school on Münsterplatz ).

Over a period of 50 years, Basel was struck by five severe plague epidemics: from 1563 to 1564, 4,000 people died in the “Grosse Sterbendt” - a third of the city's population at the time. The plague returned in the years 1576–1578 (around 800 deaths), 1582–1583 (around 1,200 deaths), 1593–1594 (around 900 deaths) and one last but devastating time in 1609–1611 (around 3,600 deaths).

Structure of the city-state of Basel in the 18th century

In 1648, the mayor of Basel, Johann Rudolf Wettstein, represented the Confederation at the Peace Congress in Münster and achieved recognition of the Confederation by the great powers of the time. However, from 1681 onwards, France threatened Basel with the Hüningen Fortress right on the city limits.

The city of Basel administered its territory through governors appointed by the council. The offices of Farnsburg , Homburg , Kleinhüningen , Liestal , Münchenstein , Riehen and Waldenburg existed . Conflicts between the urban rulers and the rural population escalated in the Peasant Wars of 1525 and 1653 and in the Rappen War 1591–1594, but the city put down these uprisings with blood.

The Amerbach Art Cabinet , the foundation of all municipal collections, especially the art museum, was purchased in 1662.

The founding of the trading house Johann Rudolf Geigy is dated to 1758, in 1795 the Peace of Basel ended the war between France , Spain and Prussia

On December 20, 1790, in response to the French Revolution , the Grand Council of Basel lifted serfdom in the urban area . After Napoleon passed through on November 24, 1797, there were riots in the countryside in January and a storm on the governor's castles of Waldenburg, Farnsburg and Homburg. Then the reformist and revolutionary-minded "patriots" around the chief guild master Peter Ochs took over power and declared the equality of all canton citizens. The Basel National Assembly, one of the first parliaments in Switzerland, was composed of 20 representatives each from the city and the countryside and introduced far-reaching reforms. With the entry into force of the Helvetic Constitution on April 12, 1798, this parliament dissolved and the old city-state of Basel formally ceased to exist. Basle was now theoretically a normal municipality of the canton of Basel of the Helvetic Republic , but formed its own district. As a result of the introduction of uniform citizenship in the Helvetic Republic, the community of residents ("Munizipalität") was also separated from the civil community in Basel. The proportion of residents of the city who were members of the civil parish therefore fell to 37% by 1815, while in 1779 51% of the residents still held citizenship.

19th century

When the Congress of Vienna recognized Switzerland's eternal armed neutrality in 1815 , the former duchy of Basel was divided between Bern and Basel: the Jura and Laufental went to Bern, while Basel was given the former episcopal bailiffs of Birseck and Pfeffingen . In August 1815, Basel celebrated Archduke Johann of Austria , who had forced the Hüningen fortress , from which Basel had been repeatedly shot at and blackmailed, to surrender and, at the request of the Basel citizens, dragged it straight away .

The last execution took place on August 4, 1819 (Baselland: 1851). Three members of a band of robbers were beheaded at the strawberry ditch in front of the stone gate. The execution was attended by 20,000 onlookers, more than Basel's population at the time.

In 1814 the city's political supremacy over the countryside was restored, when the city was given a disproportionate preponderance of seats in the Grand Council. In 1833 the rural communities (Basel area) successfully defended themselves against the dominance of the city after a long period of resistance. After the battle of the Hülftenschanz , which the city lost, the rural communities constituted themselves as a separate semi-canton of Basel-Landschaft , only the communities on the right bank of the Rhine, Riehen , Bettingen and Kleinhüningen, which was incorporated into the city in 1907, remained near Basel and formed the semi-canton of Basel-Stadt ( → Basel canton separation ).

In 1832 the first passenger motor ship reached Basel (MS Stadt Frankfurt).

The first train in Switzerland arrived in Basel from Saint-Louis in 1844 . In 1849 the museums on Augustinergasse were built, and after 1859 the city walls were razed; only some of the larger gates such as the Spalentor were preserved. The first Zionist World Congress, organized by Theodor Herzl and David Farbstein , took place in Basel from August 26th to 29th, 1897 . At the congress the «creation of a publicly and legally secure home for the Jewish people in Palestine » was resolved. For this purpose a fund and a "Jewish bank" (later Bank Leumi ) were established. Overall, the Zionist World Congress took place ten times in Basel, more than in any other city in the world.

20th and 21st centuries

Historic aerial photo by Walter Mittelholzer from 1933
Photo of the Middle Bridge, 1950s

During industrialization, Basel became one of the most important industrial cities in Switzerland. Around 1900, Basel was described by the cantonal statistician as an "unequivocal factory town" in an international comparison. Up until 1980 the city had an above-average number of workers.

One of the most important events in Basel's history was the extraordinary International Peace Congress of the Socialists in November 1912, which was held in anticipation of the coming events . Due to its location near the border, Basel experienced the two world wars more intensely than the other large cities in Switzerland. The supply of basic food was always guaranteed, but more difficult than in inner Switzerland. The strike slogan of the national strike of 1918 was followed by almost the entire workforce in Basel. On the national holiday, August 1, 1919, riots broke out after the dyers' strikes, during which the military shot at demonstrators. There were five deaths to mourn.

In the 1930s the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the bank of the central banks, was domiciled in Basel.

The Basel border region was heavily exposed to the National Socialist dictatorship from 1933 to 1945 and the nearby war from 1939 . The effects of this affected the population as well as local companies and the Swiss authorities, whose relationship with Germany at that time was shaped by serious cultural, political, diplomatic and economic decisions. In 1939 the Kunstmuseum Basel acquired 21 works of art that had been rejected as "degenerate" from German museums . The discussion about the ambivalent aspects of the purchase continues to this day.

On the one hand, the canton of Basel-Stadt, with its social democratic and socialist government majority (“Rotes Basel”) and the widely perceived, bourgeois “Basler Nachrichten” Albert Oeris, was in broad-based opposition to Nazi Germany, and there were also escape, propaganda and smuggling networks still active in the war phase (especially via the « Iron Hand »). On the other hand, there were several thousand German NSDAP members and Swiss supporters of frontist organizations in Basel. The extraterritorial Badischer Bahnhof and the “German Home” in the St. Alban-Vorstadt were the central starting points for the National Socialist activities in Basel. These were documented for the first time in 1946 in a state security report by the Basel police director at the time, Carl Ludwig .

From a military point of view, the city of Basel was an open city after the Swiss army withdrew into the Reduit from mid-1940 to autumn 1944 and would not have been defended against a German attack. The city and the surrounding area were mistakenly bombed by the Allies in 1940 and 1945 ( Wolf freight yard ), resulting in deaths and property damage.

The Basel-Mulhouse airport was founded in 1953 as a bi-national airport inaugurated.

Basel celebrated its two thousand year history as a city in 1957. The Regio Basiliensis for cross-border cooperation was founded in 1963. In 1966 women were given cantonal voting rights . In 1969, the reunification of Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft failed because the voters in Basel-Landschaft voted against.

In the 1970s, squatting increased in Basel .

The Volta district heating plant went into operation in 1980.

On November 1, 1986, a serious chemical accident occurred in the nearby Schweizerhalle , which went off lightly for the population. However, the Rhine was contaminated by the fire fighting water. In 1989, the Basel Convention on the Control of Cross-Border Waste Management was made ready for signature in Basel. In the 1990s, Sandoz and Ciba-Geigy merged to form Novartis and the Swiss Bank Corporation and Swiss Bank Corporation to form UBS .

For the first time since 1950 there is a left-wing government majority in Basel when it became red-green in the city elections in 2004. In 2006, Basel-Stadt received a new cantonal constitution , with which, among other things, the Grand Council was reduced from 130 to 100 members and the office of district president was introduced.

In 2014, in the middle of the Ukraine conflict, the ministerial meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), presided over by Switzerland this year, took place in Basel with around 1,000 delegates from 57 countries.

In 2015, Basel was given the honorary title of “ Reformation City of Europe ” by the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe .


Population development

The city of Basel (community of residents) has 173,232 inhabitants (December 31, 2019) excluding the two rural communities, and thus ranks third in Switzerland behind Zurich and Geneva . The canton of Basel-Stadt, on the other hand, has a total of 195,844 inhabitants. According to the Global Human Settlement Layer (GHSL), Basel is a contiguous, densely built-up urban settlement area with 428,721 inhabitants (as of 2018). The trinational agglomeration of Basel has a total of 830,000 inhabitants in Switzerland , Germany and France .

Table showing the population development of the municipality of Basel (figures from 1900 including Kleinhüningen):

Population development of Basel
year Resident of the
municipality of Basel
year Resident of the
municipality of Basel
1774 15'040 1910 132,276
1815 16,674 1920 135,976
1835 21'219 1930 148,063
1847 25,787 1941 162,105
1850 27'170 1950 183'543
1860 37,915 1960 206,746
1870 44'122 1970 212,857
1880 60,550 1980 182,143
1888 69,809 1990 178'428
1900 109'161 2000 166,558

Table showing the population development of the trinational agglomeration of Basel:

year Agglomeration of Basel
in Switzerland in Germany in France
2000 731,167 479,308 188,553 63,306
2014 830,758 532,185 206'267 92,306

The continuous population growth typical of industrialization in the 19th century also took place in Basel. As a result of this rapid increase, the city grew to become the second largest in Switzerland after Zurich . Due to the narrow cantonal and national borders, the city of Basel, with the exception of Kleinhüningen, could not grow through incorporation, as was the case with the other large Swiss cities. With industrialization, an upper class of long-established citizens ( Daig ) emerged, which retained its seclusion until the 20th century and spoke the original form of Basel German .

While the population of the trinational agglomeration is increasing continuously, the population of the core city has decreased noticeably since 1970 as a result of suburbanization . In the period from 1970 to 2005, over 51,000 Swiss citizens left Basel and moved to the surrounding area . In the same period, around 12,000 foreigners moved to the city, but the net decrease of 39,000 inhabitants meant that the city of Geneva overtook Basel in terms of population in the mid-1990s. The emigration of more taxable population groups was at times a particular problem for the city canton in connection with tax competition among the cantons.


Johannes Oekolampad


In 1529, with the help of Johannes Oekolampad, the Reformation prevailed in Basel and quickly won over important personalities such as the town clerk Caspar Schaller . Under pressure from revolutionary France , which controlled Switzerland from 1798 to 1815, freedom of belief was officially granted in 1798. In 1910, church and state were separated and the Christian Catholic Church was recognized as a public corporation alongside the Evangelical Reformed Church. In 1972 this also took place for the Roman Catholic Church and the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde, in 2021 also for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Basel and Northwestern Switzerland. Today Basel has over 300 Christian and non-Christian religions, churches, free churches and other religious communities. The non-Christian religions represented in Basel include the Jewish community , Islam , the Alevis , the Hindus , the Sikhs , the Buddhists and more recent religious movements. Basel has thus developed from a largely Reformed city to a multi-religious city. About half of the total population of Basel is not religious . (→ Statistics on religious affiliation )


Evangelical Reformed Paulus Church

The city of Basel is traditionally reformed. It is one of the ten Swiss cities that received the label “Reformation City” in 2017 from the Federation of Evangelical Churches . The Evangelical Reformed Church Basel-Stadt is loud cantonal constitution as a public law entity recognized. Although the dominant position of the Evangelical Reformed Church is also declining due to the increasing number of people leaving the church, it still takes a large part in the social and cultural life of the city. The church maintains a social network with institutions for pastoral care , drug counseling or the street kitchens . The visible signs of the Evangelical Reformed Church in the canton of Basel-Stadt include 85 churches, parish houses, parsonages and Sigrist apartments . Numerous architectural monuments shape the face of the city, such as the Basel Minster as a symbol of Basel and the inner city churches of St. Leonhard , St. Martin , St. Peter and the Theodorskirche .

The Basel Preacher School existed from 1876 to 1915.


Nowadays in Basel the group of Catholics is the largest denomination with 17.9% . The Roman Catholic Church of Basel has a total of seven parishes , five of which are German, one French (Paroisse catholique du Sacré-Cœur de Bâle) and another Italian (Parrocchia cattolica di lingua italiana S. Pio X di Basilea). The parishes together with the cantonal services form the deanery , which is part of the diocese of Basel . Despite its name, the diocese of Basel is not based in Basel, but in the canton capital Solothurn . The religious instruction is organized jointly with the Evangelical Reformed Church and financed. In addition to the larger Roman Catholic Church in Basel, there has been the smaller Christian Catholic Church since 1873 . Both Catholic cantonal churches have been recognized as public corporations by the cantonal constitution since 1973.


The first people of the Jewish faith settled in Basel in the 12th century. The first synagogue was on the Rindermarkt. According to excavations in Augusta Raurica, the settlement of Jews could even be dated back to the 2nd century. The foundation of today's Israelitische Gemeinde Basel (IGB) with around 70 members at that time goes back to the year 1805. Previously, as a result of the Basel Jewish pogrom , no Jews had settled in Basel for over four hundred years. In 1895 her then community rabbi Arthur Cohn founded the Schomre Torah , a school to impart Jewish knowledge. Today the IGB has around 1000 members in and around the city, making it the second largest in Switzerland. In 1972, through a cantonal referendum, it was the first non-Christian religious community in a canton in Switzerland to be recognized as a public corporation and is now on an equal footing with the three regional churches. Today it runs next to the synagogue , also known as the Great Synagogue, various schools and the public Karger library.

In addition to the Israelite Community of Basel, there has been a so-called exit community since 1927, the strictly orthodox Israelitische Religionsgesellschaft Basel (IRG) with its own synagogue on Ahornstrasse. There is also Migwan, the Liberal Jewish Community of the city of Basel, which was founded in 2004. In 2014 the new synagogue at Herrengrabenweg 50 in Basel was inaugurated. Migwan is now the third member community of the «Platform of Liberal Jews in Switzerland PLJS». In addition, there is the Jewish Museum of Switzerland in Basel , which shows a valuable collection of Jewish cultural assets. The museum celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016 and was the first Jewish museum in the German-speaking area to be established after the Second World War. For some years now, there has also been a section of the Chabad Lubavitch Organization in Basel . In 2012 the “Feldinger Chabad Center” house with the synagogue was inaugurated.

Johann Ludwig Burckhardt (Sheikh Ibrahim)


Since the 1960s, immigration from Muslim countries, especially Turkey , the Maghreb and Kosovo, has led to a growing proportion of the Muslim population, which today is estimated to be just under 10% of the city's population, and significantly more in the Kleinbasel districts (see table below). There are currently 13 mosques and prayer rooms in Basel, each of which is organized according to language. In 1997 the «Basel Muslim Commission» was founded, which sees itself as the umbrella organization of the Sunni associations of both Basels. In 2004, the association publicly advocated that Helal slaughter in Switzerland could take place in accordance with the law. Sohail Mirza has held the presidency since May 2016. In addition to those Muslim citizens who come from predominantly Islamic countries, there are also Swiss people with a non-Muslim background who convert to Islam and are an important part of the city's Islamic communities. As an example, the conversion of Johann Ludwig Burckhardt (alias Sheikh Ibrahim), who lived from 1784 to 1817 and is considered to be the first Muslim in Basel, should be mentioned historically . As the first citizen of Central Europe, he also did the Hajj to Mecca .


Denomination image of the canton of Basel-Stadt (as of 2018)

Table of denomination of the canton population in percent (source: population censuses, Statistical Office Basel-Stadt)

year Evangelical
Jewish Muslims Other
No affiliation No
1950 63.3 31.3 1.4 1.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1960 59.9 35.8 1.3 1.1 0.0 0.3 1.6 0.0
1970 52.7 40.7 1.1 0.9 0.2 0.2 3.2 1.0
1980 44.4 35.5 1.2 0.9 1.1 0.3 13.9 1.9
1990 32.1 25.4 1.8 0.8 4.0 0.5 34.5 0.3
2000 26.5 24.9 2.8 0.8 6.7 1.2 31.0 5.1
2016 17.4 17.9 5.3 0.7 7.5 2.1 47.5 1.4
2018 15.3 15.9 5.9 0.6 8.0 2.0 50.9 1.3

Denomination in percent by district (2013) (Source: Statistical Atlas Basel-Stadt ):

Quarter Evangelical
Jewish Islamic Other
Old town of Grossbasel 21.8 14.4 0.8 0.8 0.7 0.8 3.5 56.8
Suburbs 18.0 15.8 1.0 1.8 1.4 2.3 3.9 54.8
On the ring 17.9 15.4 0.8 2.1 2.9 3.1 3.9 52.9
broad 15.8 15.2 0.6 2.3 0.1 10.3 4.3 50.4
St. Alban 21.4 15.7 0.5 1.9 0.8 5.1 3.3 50.3
Gundeldingen 13.3 14.4 0.5 3.6 0.1 13.9 5.2 47.3
Brother wood 25.2 17.8 0.4 1.4 0.5 2.5 2.5 49.2
Bachletten 23.8 17.3 0.5 1.2 1.5 3.1 2.2 49.9
Gotthelf 18.7 16.5 0.5 1.7 1.9 3.5 3.6 53.0
Iselin 14.2 16.3 0.5 3.1 0.7 10.7 5.5 48.7
St. Johann 13.1 14.0 0.7 2.7 0.2 13.5 5.2 49.1
Old town of Kleinbasel 15.0 15.0 1.0 1.9 0.3 5.0 3.1 57.8
Clara 10.4 11.7 0.8 4.7 0.0 12.1 8.0 48.9
Wettstein 19.3 16.0 0.5 1.1 0.2 4.5 3.4 54.2
Hirzbrunnen 19.9 18.6 0.3 1.1 0.1 7.8 2.7 51.2
Rose Valley 8.7 15.8 0.4 2.2 0.2 20.5 8.3 42.6
Matthew 10.3 12.1 0.6 4.3 0.1 15.0 6.7 48.8
Klybeck 9.5 11.5 0.4 3.2 0.0 21.4 5.7 45.8
Kleinhüningen 10.2 12.2 0.4 4.4 0.0 20.5 6.6 44.1
Riehen 26.1 16.8 0.3 0.9 0.1 2.9 2.9 49.8
Bettingen 33.1 14.5 0.1 1.2 0.3 0.5 4.4 45.8

The reason for the apparent inconsistency of the figures reported by district with those for the entire canton is a different survey method.

Church taxes

In the course of the separation of church and state , the four religious communities recognized under public law at that time were given the power to independently collect church taxes from their members . After the software solution last used for this purpose was no longer supported by the manufacturer and a new solution would have incurred very high costs, the community of Bettingen and the four religious communities asked the canton of Basel-Stadt that in future, as in most of the other cantons of Switzerland and in Germany the state tax administration for the religious communities collects the taxes (against payment). The Grand Council of the Canton of Basel-Stadt responded to the request and decided to change the tax law accordingly in November 2018, although a referendum was held against this . In the cantonal vote on May 19, 2019, however, a majority of those who voted approved the change in the law.


Legislative and Executive

The Basel town hall

The canton of Basel-Stadt is responsible for the government and administration of the municipality of Basel . The municipality of Basel therefore has neither its own executive nor its own legislature . Instead, these functions are carried out by the government council (executive) or the grand council (legislative) of the canton. This solution, established for Basel, of amalgamating the communal authorities with the cantonal authorities, is unique in Switzerland. Naturalizations, which are the responsibility of the municipality in Switzerland, are carried out by the civic municipality .

National elections

In the 2019 National Council elections, the share of the vote in the city of Basel was: SP 32.7%, FDP.L 21.4% ( LDP 14.6%, FDP 5.8%), Greens 17.7%, SVP 12.4% , GLP 5.7%, CVP 4.6%, EVP 2.0%, BDP 0.4% and EDU 0.3%.

coat of arms

Basel coat of arms with the Basel staff (bishop's staff)
Blazon : « A black Basel staff in silver . »

Livre colors are white and black.

The coat of arms of the city of Basel and the canton of Basel-Stadt is a black crook pointing to the left ( heraldic right ) on a white field, called the Baselstab . Three transverse bars (for the episcopal priest , pastoral and teaching office ) interrupt this rod, which widens towards the bottom and ends in three points. The symbol of the Basel staff is the curved pastoral staff of the bishops. Shield holders are lions , wild men , angels and, since the 15th century, basilisks  - dragons with a cock's head and snake tail .

Reasons for the coat of arms: The coat of arms appeared for the first time in the 11th century, at that time still in the form of a wooden stick with a golden curvature on top . The current form of the black staff dates from the 12th century and corresponds to the coat of arms of the bishops of Basel, verifiably since 1384. Since that time, the coat of arms has not changed and remained the coat of arms of the city and when the landscape was separated from the city later also the coat of arms of the canton .

Town twinning

Economy and Infrastructure

View from the Novartis campus

Due to its central location in western resp. Central Europe has a particularly important and preferred commercial geographical importance. The Basel metropolitan region has around 1.3 million inhabitants and 650,000 people in employment. After the city of Zurich, Basel is the second largest business location in Switzerland and has the highest GDP per capita in the country, ahead of the cantons of Zug and Geneva .

Basel is one of the world's most important centers for pharmaceutical companies such as Novartis AG, Hoffmann-La Roche AG, Syngenta AG and the Lonza Group . In terms of value, over 94% of the Basel city's exports of goods are in the chemical and pharmaceutical sector. Together with the factories in the neighboring Schweizerhalle , Basel accounts for 20% of Swiss exports and generates a third of the national product . In addition to chemistry, the branches of mechanical engineering , metal processing , textile processing as well as food and luxury food production are located. The centuries-old tradition in paper production and letterpress printing has resulted in several publishing houses being based in Basel. Since 1917, the Swiss sample fair , a national exhibition, has developed into an important trade fair location throughout Europe. The Basel Exhibition Center organizes numerous world-famous trade fairs and congresses every year, including “ Art Basel ”, the world's largest trade fair for contemporary art, and “ Baselworld ”, the world's largest watch and jewelry fair .

The importance of Basel as a banking center is also traditionally based. In addition to numerous banking and insurance companies, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has its headquarters here. The Swiss National Bank (SNB) has a representative office in Basel. The Basel Chamber of Commerce is a trade association for Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft .

BIZ-Turm Basel: Worldwide headquarters of the Bank for International Settlements

Established businesses

List of the largest companies with headquarters in Basel

Headquarters of the pharmaceutical company Hoffmann-La Roche, the Roche Tower

The “Segmantas List” of the 500 largest Swiss companies for 2017 has the following results with a view to the canton of Basel-Stadt:

rank company Branch Sales in billion CHF
01 Roche Holding AG Pharma 50.756
02 Novartis AG Pharma 47.790
03 Coop group retail trade 28,322
04th Syngenta AG Agrochemistry 12,598
05 Transgourmet Switzerland Wholesale 08,551
06th Panalpina Welttransport Holding logistics 05.196
07th Swiss International Air Lines airline 04,799
08th Lonza Group Pharma / chemistry 04,132
09 Bell Food AG Meat processing 03.346
10 Manor AG retail trade 02,500

This list leaves out banks, financial service providers and insurance companies, but Basel is the second largest financial center in German-speaking Switzerland after Zurich. The UBS has one of its sites in Basel, the Basler Kantonalbank , the Bank Cler , the bank CIC , the WIR Bank and the Insurance Baloise , Helvetia , Sympany and Pax .

Other banks and insurance companies in Basel are the private banks Bank La Roche & Co , Baumann & Cie, Banquiers , J. Safra Sarasin , E. Gutzwiller & Cie. Banquiers , Dreyfus Sons & Cie. , Banquiers, Trafina Privatbank and Scobag Privatbank . There are also various trust and real estate companies such as Pax-Anlage , STG Schweizerische Treuhandgesellschaft and Warteck Invest . The locations of these companies are concentrated around Aeschenplatz, where the Basel Stock Exchange was located until 1998. The Association of the Swiss Bankers Association , which was founded in 1912, and the Association of Swiss Cantonal Banks are based in Basel . The Bank for International Settlements is also located near the SBB train station .

Chemical and pharmaceutical companies are also based in Basel, including Novartis , a merger that emerged in 1996 from Sandoz and Ciba-Geigy, Roche , Basilea Pharmaceutica , Acino Holding and Syngenta , a spin-out of the agricultural divisions of Novartis in 2000 . The Ciba AG , a spin-out of the Ciba-Geigy, was based in Basel before by the German chemical company in 2008 BASF was acquired and Basel to a branch of BASF was.

In Basel, the transport and logistics sector is represented by Panalpina and SBB Cargo . The largest Swiss airline Swiss and Jet Aviation are also based in Basel (previously also Crossair , which was dissolved in 2002, and Hello, which went bankrupt in 2012 ).

Major wholesalers and retailers such as the department store chain Manor , the manufacturer of smoking accessories Oettinger Davidoff AG , the largest meat producer in Switzerland Bell and the retail company Coop are based in Basel.

The MCH Group , the life sciences company Lonza Group AG, the building services company Sauter , the fashion chain Tally Weijl , the travel retailer Dufry , the mineral oil and car dealer Fritz Meyer Holding and the implant manufacturer Straumann are also based in Basel.


Basel has a large number of historic inns and hotels. The Hotel Les Trois Rois , in Grossbasel next to the Middle Bridge directly on the Rhine, is one of the oldest certified hotels in Europe (first mentioned in 1681 as Gasthof Drei Könige). Numerous personalities from history have stayed at Les Trois Rois (Theodor Herzl, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Voltaire, Pablo Picasso, Thomas Mann, Marc Chagall, Richard Wagner, The Rolling Stones. Giacomo Casanova wrote in his memoirs (“Histoire de ma vie”) : "We stopped by the notorious Imhoff, who pulled the skin over our ears; but the 'Three Kings' were the best inn in town."). The luxury hotel is one of the leading hotels in Europe. The classicist building from 1844 (architect: Amadeus Merian ) was extensively renovated, reconstructed and expanded between 2004 and 2006. As a trade fair location, Basel has numerous other hotels, an above-average number of them in the 4 and 5 star category.

The oldest inn in Basel is the Gasthof zum Goldenen Sternen , which was first mentioned in documents in 1346 and since 1412, as one of the 13 manor inns , has been offering guests food and drink. In 1501 the ambassadors of the ten places of the then Swiss Confederation were received for a welcome drink. After the road was widened in the Aeschenvorstadt, this economy was discontinued in 1963, but was rebuilt 10 years later on the initiative of the former star host Jost Müller in the St. Alban Valley.

Top gastronomy is offered in the restaurants Cheval Blanc (cook Peter Knogl ) and Stucki (cook Tanja Grandits ). The Grand Café Huguenin on Barfüsserplatz is one of the city's most famous cafes . Other historic Basel restaurants are the Atlantis restaurant on the Klosterberg, the Hasenburg and the Gifthüttli in the old town of Grossbasel.


The founding of the University of Basel in 1460 gave the city and the printing and publishing industries a great boost. Over 50 printers joined the papermakers, including such famous ones as Petri , Amerbach and Froben . In 1468 a Latin Bible was published, which was set with movable letters by Berthold Ruppel . In 1488 Johannes Petri founded his publishing house, which is the oldest existing printing and publishing house today (today: Schwabe Verlag ). With the most famous of all Basel printers, Johann Froben , Basel became one of the leading publishing and printing locations in Europe after 1500. Today, Basel has over 15 non-fiction and literary publishers, in addition to Schwabe, for example, Birkhäuser Verlag , Wissenschaftsverlag S. Karger , Schweizerischen Ärzteverlag , Christoph Merian Verlag , Lenos Verlag , Urs Engeler Editor , Münsterverlag , Brunnen Verlag and Hungerkünstler Verlag .


Various newspapers appear in Basel and the surrounding area: The Basler Zeitung (BaZ) published by Basler Zeitung Medien is the largest daily newspaper in north-western Switzerland . There is also the bz Basel , which is aimed at the entire Basel region, as well as the Riehener Zeitung as an independent weekly newspaper for the two Basel municipalities of Riehen and Bettingen. 2010 (controversial change of ownership in the BaZ) to 2018 also appeared weekly day week . Regional news also appear in the free newspaper 20 Minuten . The web newspaper OnlineReports also offers a wide range of information .

Even radio stations are represented in Basel: In addition to the broadcast Regionaljournal Basel of the public radio station SRF is available in the Basel region, the two private radio station Radio Basilisk and Energy Basel as well as the non-commerce-oriented Radio X .

Radio SRF operates a radio studio in Basel, from which the broadcasting operations of Radio SRF 2 Kultur are handled. In addition, the television broadcaster Telebasel serves the city and northwestern Switzerland with its own programs.

Basel Rhine port



Basel has been an important trading and transshipment center for goods traffic between the Mediterranean and the North Sea since the Middle Ages . The journey on the Rhine between Basel and Rotterdam is 832 km and takes between three and four days downstream for today's motor ships and about a week upstream. The journey between Basel and Strasbourg is made easier by the Rhine canal. The ships use this canal to avoid the dangerous rapids of Istein .

The Mannheim Act from 1868 guarantees Switzerland full traffic rights. The Rhine is an international body of water up to the Mittlere Brücke in Basel. Around 12% of all Swiss imports are handled in the Rhine ports; in 2010 this was 5.5 million tons.

There are four ports in and around Basel , of which only the Rheinhafen Kleinhüningen is located in the urban area, the two parts of the port on the left bank of the Rhine in Birsfelden and Muttenz-Au are in the Baselland landscape. The three parts of the port are organized as the Swiss Rhine ports, both cantons - Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft - are involved in this public-law institution. The oldest Swiss Rhine port, St. Johann, has not been in operation since January 1, 2010. Another Rhine port is located a few kilometers north of Basel in Weil am Rhein, Germany. The competition of the faster railroad leads to the suspension of passenger traffic on the Rhine to Mainz in 1843.

Basel is the registry and home port of all ocean-going ships and yachts registered in Switzerland.

Rail transport

Basel SBB train station

There are three long-distance train stations in the city. The Basel SBB railway station (Central Station) is approximately 135,000 (as of 2016) passengers per day the largest train station in Basel and the sixth largest in the whole of Switzerland. It is located south of the city center. From there the national lines to Zurich , Bern and Lucerne , various S-Bahn lines, as well as international lines to Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands run. From the French train station Basel SNCF (Elsässerbahnhof), which belongs to the same building complex, some lines run from Basel to France and Belgium. The Badische Bahnhof (Basel Bad Bf) in the northeast of the city is operated by Deutsche Bahn . All trains to and from Germany and the Netherlands stop here, the Upper Rhine route in the direction of Singen , the Upper Rhine Railway to Karlsruhe Hbf and the S-Bahn ( Wiesentalbahn ) to Zell im Wiesental, which is served by the Basel S-Bahn, stop here .

There are also the S-Bahn stations Basel-St. Johann (on the Basel SNCF railway line in the direction of St. Louis) and Basel-St. Jakob (on the Basel SBB line towards Muttenz , although this station is normally only served by special trains during events in the St. Jakob-Park stadium ) and, since 2006, Basel- Dreispitz (on the Basel SBB line towards Delémont).

In addition, since 1955, the headquarters of Eurofima , the largest organization of European railways, have been located in Basel .

The construction of an underground tunnel through Basel's city center is currently being discussed (“ heart ”). The SBB train station is to be connected to the Badischer Bahnhof station in order to create a S-Bahn network that is more attractive for the entire region. Several underground stations are planned in the city center, as well as another branch in the direction of Basel-St.Johann and the airport (see local public transport)

air traffic

Basel's first airport was built in 1920 on the Sternenfeld site in the Birsfelden municipality ( Basel-Sternenfeld airfield ). In the 1930s it became clear that the airfield at this location could not grow to the extent necessary to meet the future requirements of aviation. The idea of ​​a binational airport on French territory was born. The French government agreed, but the outbreak of World War II interrupted negotiations. After the war, the idea was quickly taken up again, and on May 8, 1946, after only two months of construction and before a state treaty was drawn up, Basel-Mulhouse airport was opened on the territory of the French municipality of Blotzheim . Of course, only the most elementary facilities could be built in this short time, and the further expansion to the "finished" airport then took many years. In 1987 the airport introduced the EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg trademark . In 2016 the number of passengers was 7.31 million. The route network comprised 62 scheduled destinations in 30 different countries, which were served by 25 airlines. This makes Euro-Airport Basel the third largest Swiss airport after Zurich and Geneva.

Basel, Wettstein Bridge

Motorized individual and heavy traffic

The city of Basel is the hub of important road connections to Germany and France. The two high-ranking European roads 25 and 35 (A2 and A3 or A5 and A35 in Germany / France) run through Basel in a north-south direction. Identified European roads of category A otherwise usually run at a greater distance from one another.

From Lucerne or Zurich , the A2 and A3 (E 25 and E 35) connect the German A 5 (E 35) in the direction of Karlsruhe and the French A 35 (E 25) in the direction of Mulhouse and Strasbourg via the east and north bypasses. There are also the city highways A18 and A22, which connect the suburbs in the canton of Basel-Landschaft with Basel. The A98 and the A861, which run entirely on German territory, serve as a bypass for the massively congested Osttangente.

Five road and one railway bridge connect the two parts of Basel across the Rhine. In the flow direction are the Schwarzwaldbrücke (highway and railway bridge), the Wettsteinbrücke , the Middle Bridge , the Johanniterbrücke and the double-decker Dreirosenbrücke .

In Grossbasel in particular, three streets run through the city in a concentric ring shape. Many streets in the neighborhoods are arranged at right angles. The city center is largely free of car traffic as a pedestrian zone .

In the referendum on February 9, 2020, the majority of voters spoke out in favor of more climate-friendly transport by 2050. As of March 2018, a 30 km / h zone had already been set up on 56 percent of the inner-city road network.

Bicycle traffic

In 2015, bicycle traffic in Basel accounted for 17% of the modal split , measured as the proportion of journeys as the main mode of transport.

There is a bicycle road in Basel , which was built as a pilot project by the Federal Roads Office .

Pedestrian traffic

The foot traffic in Basel had in 2015 accounted for 33% of the modal split as a proportion of the ways as the main means of transport, he is so measured is the most important transport form of the urban population. 24% of all trips that began in the city or ended were covered mainly by foot.

Local public transport

Network map of the Basel tram from 2017

Public transport in Basel is integrated into the Northwestern Switzerland Tariff Association (TNW). The most important means of urban transport is the Basel tram , known there as the tram , which is operated jointly by Basler Verkehrs-Betriebe (BVB) and Baselland Transport AG (BLT). Between 1941 and 2008, the Basel trolleybus also ran in the city, which was replaced by buses .

The Basel tram lines run every six to thirty minutes, depending on the time of day and the route. The so-called environmental SUBSCRIPTION opens all public transport in the cantons of Basel-Stadt , Basel-Country and parts of the cantons of Solothurn ( District Dorneck-Thierstein ), Aargau ( Fricktal : Districts Rheinfelden and Laufenburg ) and Jura (municipality Ederswiler ).

Between 2005 and 2007 there was a controversy over the future of trolleybuses ; BVB's intention to abolish these and replace them with natural gas buses was approved relatively narrowly in a referendum on June 17, 2007.

The Basel S-Bahn connects the agglomeration with the core city and thus also the three countries with one another. The construction of an underground railway line is currently being discussed, which will connect the Badischer Bahnhof with the SBB railway station via several underground stations. Due to poor connections and many so-called dead ends in the S-Bahn network, it is currently not able to cope with the number of passengers. The so-called heart of Basel is intended to remedy this problem. Another branch in the direction of Basel-St.Johann train station is also planned, as well as a rail connection to the airport.

There are five bridges for private traffic, a railway bridge and a pedestrian bridge available for crossing the Rhine ( Basel Rhine bridges ). The Rhine can also be crossed with four pedestrian ferries.


The University of Basel (1460), location on the Rheinsprung

Basel is a humanistic university city. There are some significant offers for higher education. On the one hand, there is the University of Basel, founded in 1460, with 12,873 students (2017) and doctoral students in various faculties ( theology , law , medicine , humanities , economics , natural sciences , psychology ). On the other hand, in addition to the university in general, the Biozentrum of the University of Basel and the ETH Zurich Department for Biosystems, D-BSSE, which has been researching in the field of systems biology and synthetic biology and is associated with the university, enjoy an international reputation . The University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) is also worth mentioning, with the University of Design and Art (HGK), the University of Education , the University of Social Work and the University of Economics.

In addition, there is the Music Academy of the City of Basel with the music school, the music college (part of the FHNW from 2006) and the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis , as well as the adult education center in both Basel.

Another university is the evangelical state-independent Theological University of Basel .

In addition to humanism, Basel is also known for its mathematical research. In addition to Leonhard Euler , the family of scholars Bernoulli deserves special mention, who taught mathematics and carried out research in Basel for centuries . The Swiss Mathematical Society was founded here in 1910 . In the 20th century, the Russian mathematician Alexander Markowitsch Ostrowski taught at the University of Basel.

Culture and sights

Basel, Gemsberg

One of the world's most important art fairs, Art Basel and Baselworld, one of the most important watch and jewelry fairs, takes place in Basel every year. Some other well-known sights are the Basel Zoo , the Basel Minster, as well as the old town and the numerous museums in Basel and the suburbs.


Paul Sacher founded the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis as early as the 1930s , which became the center for research into and cultivation of early music . The Stadtcasino Basel is the most important concert venue for classical music. It is currently being expanded and rebuilt, and the reopening is scheduled for autumn 2020. In the meantime, many concerts take place at alternative venues, for example in the Musical Theater Basel or in the Martinskirche , which has been used as a concert church since the 19th century. In addition to the Basel Symphony Orchestra (chief conductor Ivor Bolton ), there are also some specialized orchestras active in the city, such as the basel sinfonietta , the baroque formations La Cetra Barockorchester Basel , the chamber orchestra i tempi and Capriccio Basel, as well as the Ensemble Phoenix and the Basel Chamber Orchestra . The Collegium Musicum Basel has existed since 1951, the New Orchestra was founded in 1982.

The wind orchestra of the Basel region and the Basel Boys' Music maintain wind music in 1841 .

In addition to the large oratorio choirs such as the Basler Gesangverein and the Basler Bach Choir, there are also numerous smaller chamber choirs , mostly specializing in a cappella music . The Basel madrigalists and the Knabenkantorei Basel (KKB) are internationally known . The European Youth Choir Festival takes place in Basel every two years . Basel has a music academy with subdivisions such as the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis , from which the La Cetra baroque orchestra emerged, and the music academy . The Paul Sacher Foundation is also based in Basel.

Musicology seminar at the University of Basel, Petersplatz

The traditional Basel piper and tambours of the Basel Carnival are known far beyond Switzerland . When it comes to military and marching music, the Basel Tattoo, the second largest tattoo event in the world, takes place annually in Basel.

The jazz music events Bâloise Session (formerly AVO Session), Em Bebbi sy Jazz and the Basel Jazz Festival are known nationwide . The jazz club The bird's eye in Lohnhof am Kohlenberg is counted among the best in Europe. The blues is also cultivated at the knee of the Rhine, examples of which are the Basel Blues Festival, founded in 2000, and the summer blues in Kleinbasel.

The Sonic in the St. Jakobshalle is considered the largest techno dance event in Switzerland.

Basel is also a city with an important organ culture , which has several churches with historical organs, such as the Predigerkirche ( Johann Andreas Silbermann , 1769), the Elisabethenkirche ( Joseph Merklin , 1864), the Church of St. Joseph ( Orgelbau Kuhn , 1904), the Church of St. Anton (Willisau organ building, 1931) or the former First Church of Christ, Scholar at Picassoplatz, which was converted into a rehearsal house primarily for the Basel Symphony Orchestra (Kuhn organ building, 1936).

The Basel music scene has already produced several nationally and internationally known bands, for example the Lovebugs , Myron and Dankner . In addition, the singer and actor Martin Schenkel and the singer Nubya come from Basel. Black Tiger was the first in Switzerland to rap in dialect. The hip-hop band Brandhärd comes from the vicinity of Basel.

The IMFLUSS Festival takes place annually from the end of July to mid-August on the banks of the Rhine.

Theater and dance

As the largest multi- branch theater in Switzerland, the Basel Theater has a permanent opera, drama and dance ensemble as well as an opera choir. Both the Basel Symphony Orchestra and other regional ensembles ( La Cetra Barockorchester Basel , Basel Chamber Orchestra , Basel Sinfonietta , Ensemble Phoenix Basel ) provide orchestral services for opera and dance productions . The Theater Basel has two stages in the main building, which opened in 1975, at the intersection of Theaterstrasse and Klosterberg, as well as another stage in the theater at Steinentorstrasse 7, which opened in 2002.

The Kaserne Basel is the most important venue for groups of outdoor dance and theater scene in the area of Basel-Stadt and regularly shows guest performances by groups from Germany and abroad. The ROXY theater in Birsfelden ( canton Basel-Landschaft ) and the theater company in Dornach ( canton Solothurn ) are also of great importance as production and performance locations for Basel's independent dance and theater scene.

The area of ​​children's and youth theater is shaped by the Junge Theater Basel, the Vorstadttheater Basel , the Basel Children's Theater and the work of independent groups. The range of private and small theaters on offer is unusually diverse. Companies with permanent venues on the territory of the city of Basel include the Baseldytschi Bihni, the Häbse Theater, the Theater Fauteuil (with Tabourettli), the Building 3 (formerly TheaterFalle Basel), the Theater Arlecchino, the Theater im Teufelhof , the theater garage as well the cellar theater Riehen (formerly Atelier-Theater) should be mentioned on the territory of the municipality of Riehen . The Musical Theater Basel also regularly offers theater and dance guest performances.

In addition to the continuous work of the above-mentioned companies, some festivals set additional accents, such as the Basel Theater Festival (formerly “Welt in Basel”), the Treibstoff Theatertage and the Basel Puppet Theater Festival (all in a biennial rhythm) as well as the annual Basel Dance Festival. In addition, there are the multidisciplinary festivals wildwuchs and Culturescapes , which have a significant share of theater and dance productions in the overall program. The Basel Youth Culture Festival also shows an increasing proportion of contributions from the performative arts.

Museums and art spaces

Entrance to the Museum of Cultures, Münsterplatz

The Kunstmuseum Basel (largest art museum in Switzerland) stands out as the oldest urban art collection in the world. The museum focuses on artists of the Renaissance and the 19th and 20th centuries. Works from around 1960 are exhibited in the Museum of Contemporary Art . In 1967 the citizens of Basel bought a picture of two important works by Pablo Picasso from the Staechelin Foundation. The townspeople, who had to decide on the purchase, accepted the request in an infamous vote and thus financed the plan. Picasso then decided to bequeath four more works from his collection to the city. As a result, a square not far from the art museum was named after him in honor of Picasso. Other important art collections include the Museum Tinguely and the private Fondation Beyeler , which shows pictures and sculptures , especially from the classical modern era , in a house designed by Renzo Piano in Riehen . The Schaulager was opened in 2003 and is conceptually a mixture between a public museum, conservatory and art research institute.

Also worth mentioning are many of the more than 30 museums, such as the Museum of Antiquities , the Museum of Architecture , the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Cultures (formerly the Museum of Ethnology). There are also a large number of smaller collections and museums, such as the University's Anatomical Collection , which can be seen in the Anatomical Museum , the Pharmaceutical History Museum of the University of Basel , the Jewish Museum of Switzerland and the Toy Museum in Riehen as well as the Toy Worlds Museum . On the German side in Weil am Rhein , not far from the border between Germany and Switzerland , there is also the Vitra Design Museum designed by Frank Gehry . City museums grant free entry on the first Sunday of each month.

In addition to the many museums, there are also numerous non-institutional exhibition rooms and offspaces for contemporary art and other cultural events in Basel . The probably oldest off- space in Switzerland, the Klingental exhibition space , is also located in Basel.

In 1990 the open-air exhibition Basel-Stadt took place an exhibition space .


Archaeological Soil Research is a cantonal specialist agency that looks after the canton's archaeological heritage. It regularly publishes annual reports and specialist journals such as the so-called material booklets.

The department has set up so-called information points at various locations in the city to provide competent information about Basel's archaeological excavations. Most of these sites are located directly at the excavation sites and are open to the public.

Publicly accessible excavations can be found, for example, at the outer crypt of Basel Minster, where remains of Celtic and Roman origins as well as those from the Middle Ages were found in 1947 ; the crypt itself dates from the time of Bishop Haito and is dated from 805 to 823. There is also an information point by the former administration building on Münsterplatz, an excavation found remains of the late Gothic St. John's Chapel from 1386, but also remains of a Romanesque church from 1100 and even those of a Roman street. A third example is the rediscovered Hafner furnace from 1830, the excavation site of which can be visited on the Klosterberg. Finally, on the Gerbergässlein, evidence of a tannery from the Middle Ages was found.

Basel itself became the home of the well-known archaeologist Karl Schefold , who completed his habilitation in classical archeology here in 1936. He has participated in various excavations and has written some noteworthy works on archeology.

Architecture and monuments

The Basel Minster , consecrated in 1019 in the presence of Emperor Heinrich II and Empress Kunigunde , rises up on the Münsterberg as a monument to Romanesque and Gothic architecture in red sandstone . In addition to medieval buildings (the Ackermannshof), baroque city ​​palaces ( e.g. Wildt'sches Haus , Markgräflerhof , Spiesshof and Stadthaus), examples of historicism ( Pauluskirche , Elisabethenkirche , House of the General Reading Society), Art Nouveau ( Küchlintheater and Hotel Krafft ) , Evidence of early modernism with buildings by Karl Coelestin Moser ( concrete church St. Antonius 1925–1927), Hans Bernoulli , Hannes Meyer or Hans Schmidt , buildings by the Basel offices Herzog & de Meuron , Diener & Diener or Morger & Degelo joined them . Internationally known architects such as Mario Botta ( BIZ's second building , Museum Tinguely ) and Richard Meier have also built in Basel. Basel has been an important center of contemporary architecture since the 1990s - thanks in part to the international success of the Herzog & de Meuron architecture firm . Nine winners of the Pritzker Prize , the internationally most renowned award for architects, built in Basel, including the suburbs, there are even twelve.

The 68 meter high Lonza house by Hans Rudolf and Otto Suter from 1962 is a striking skyscraper in Basel and is often compared to the Pirelli building in Milan . At the time of moving in, the skyscraper was the tallest in Basel. The sober, delicate facade of the house earned him the nickname Razor .

The 105 meter high exhibition tower with 31 floors was the second tallest utility building in Switzerland until 2010. It was designed by the Morger & Degelo architects and built between July 2001 and October 2003. The Roche Tower (Building 1), which was completed in mid-2015, towered over the Messeturm at the beginning of 2014 and is 179 meters high in the surrounding area. The Roche Tower (Building 2) , which is still under construction, exceeded the height of Building 1 in autumn 2020 and has now reached its final height of 205 meters. It is now the tallest skyscraper in Switzerland. The tallest free-standing building in Switzerland is the 250 meter high television tower on St. Chrischona near Basel.

Basel received the Wakker Prize from the Swiss Homeland Security in 1996 for special services to the protection of the local image .

The most important monuments in the city include the St. Jacob's monument by Ferdinand Schlöth and the Strasbourg monument by Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi |.


The basic stock of the Bächlin-Schmidt-Schmalenbach film collection was transferred from a student film club (1930) to the Swiss Film Archive. The film weeks held in Basel in 1939, 1943 and 1945 can be described as one of the first film festivals in the world - only the Venice Festival started earlier. With the decision of the government council of August 1, 1945, the film archive became the property of the canton of Basel-Stadt; there it had been attached to the school supplies center. After an intercantonal appeal for rescue and financing, which was unsuccessful, an advocate for taking over the archive was found in the city ​​council of Lausanne . The films were stored in the basement of the Basler Kantonalbank on Blumenrain. Today they are kept in the Swiss Film Archive in Lausanne.

After decades, the Le Bon Film association finally found its own permanent venue, the city cinema. It is located in the former plaster sculpture hall of the Kunsthalle. The plaster sculptures are placed in a factory building in Neu-Allschwil. With financial help from the Christoph Merian Foundation , the 100-seat city cinema, with its black lined walls, was made possible.

After various pharmaceutical and chemical companies in Basel gave up their own film production units, local production fell apart. Arthur Cohn , who received three Oscars, comes from Basel, locally there is minimal film production as part of courses at the Hochschule für Gestaltung.

The Kriens Film Festival, founded in 1980, today called VIPER (Video Performance), has been based in Basel for several years. The Basel cinema theaters offer a variety of light shows on 30 screens.

Basel has many smaller and larger cinemas distributed throughout the city. The largest collection of cinemas can be found along the Steinenvorstadt. Many of the films are shown in their original language with subtitles. In autumn 2006, the “Pathé Küchlin” multiplex cinema with 8 halls and 2300 seats was opened in the heart of the city.

In addition, Basel has been offering open-air performances on Münsterplatz in the first three weeks of August since 2007, with 2000 seats per performance. The program, named after the main sponsor, was funded by the Swisslos Fund in 2013/14.

Since 2009, the LGBT I film festival Luststreifen has also been taking place in the city , which now with several thousand visitors is one of the larger film festivals of its kind in Switzerland after the Queersicht -Festival in Bern.

Literary business

The Literaturhaus Basel was opened in 2000 , the first of its kind in Switzerland. Since 2003, the « BuchBasel », a book and literature festival, has taken place every November .


Costumed during the Basel Carnival

The Basel Carnival is the largest carnival in Switzerland and at the same time the only Protestant carnival in the world. It starts with the Morgestraich , which begins on the Monday after Ash Wednesday at four in the morning. The carnival attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year and is well known all over the world. After three days and nights, it ends on Thursday morning at four o'clock with the so-called final prank. During these 72 hours you can marvel at cliques , Guggen musicians , Waggis wagons and chaises on the streets of Basel city center . The Cortège, a parade of all active participants, takes place on Monday and Wednesday afternoons. Tuesday afternoon is the children's and family carnival and then the big Guggen concert in the evening. The carnival also includes the Schnitzelbänke (hand-made speeches ), which are sung in verse and sung in the Basel dialect in restaurants and bars in the city. Traditional dishes for Carnival are the flour soup , the Ziibelewaie and the Käswaie .

Mural with Leu, Wild Maa and Vogel Gryff

Every year, on January 13, 20 or 27, Basel experiences the festival of the three honorary societies in Kleinbasels (→ Vogel Gryff ), alternating every three years . On this day, the three personified sign holders Vogel Gryff, a griffin in heavy scale armor, the Wild Maa , a wild man swinging a teapot, and the Leu, a lion, appear. They move through Kleinbasel and perform their traditional dances everywhere.


There are numerous sports clubs in Basel, especially in football. The FC Basel (FCB) is the football club of an entire region, while the internationally most successful football club in Switzerland. The EHC Basel played until 2008 in the highest ice hockey league in Switzerland. The Fechtgesellschaft Basel is one of the oldest in Switzerland and has produced, among others, Olympic champion Marcel Fischer . There are also successes in tennis, Roger Federer and Patty Schnyder come from Basel and the Basel area. Basel is also the venue for the Swiss Indoors , an international tennis tournament on the ATP Tour. The St. Jakob-Park is the largest stadium in Switzerland and regularly the scene of international football events, so at the World Cup in 1954 , the 2008 European Football Championship , in appearances of FC Basel in international competitions, the most important international matches of the Swiss national team and 2004 as a venue in the benefit game between “ Zidane & Friends” and “ Ronaldo & Friends”. The St. Jakob-Park and the St. Jakobshalle are also used for concerts. The Flyers baseball team from nearby Therwil is the Swiss record champions with 13 championships.

Sporting events

The St. Jakob-Park in Interior

In 1954, Basel was one of six venues for the 1954 World Cup. In 1969, the 5th Gymnaestrada also took place here. The St. Jakobshalle was also one of the venues for the handball world championship in 1986 , for games of the ice hockey world championship in 1998 (world champion Sweden, Switzerland 4th place) and in 2006 it was one of five venues for the European handball championship. Basel was selected as one of the venues for the 2008 European Football Championship because the St. Jakob-Park stadium already had the infrastructure necessary for such a major event. The three Swiss games (including the opening game), two quarter-finals and one semi-finals took place in St. Jakob-Park. The stadium has a capacity of around 40,000 spectators, making it the largest stadium in Switzerland.

In tennis , Basel is always the venue for the Swiss Indoors. The St. Jakobshalle has been the venue for the Swiss Open in badminton since 1991 .

Basel has been the venue for the European Skateboard Championships, which have been taking place since 2000 and are the European championships in skateboarding. It is held annually on the St. Margarethen artificial ice rink.

Since 2010 there has been an eighth pursuit race with the Basel Head on the Rhine every November .

Sports associations and clubs

The European Continental Football Association, UEFA , was founded in Basel in 1954. Basel is the seat of the International Handball Federation .

In football , the city is represented by FC Basel in the top Swiss league, the Super League . FC Basel is a 20-time Swiss champion and a twelve-time cup winner . In addition, FCB qualified five times for the UEFA Champions League , in which it was the first Swiss club to qualify for the round of 16.

Another club that took part in Swiss professional football was FC Concordia Basel , which was represented in the Challenge League , the second-highest league, until the license was revoked in 2009 and is currently playing in the fifth class. The BSC Old Boys , the Swiss for today's first division club BSC Young Boys Name and Color donors was also used to play in the top division and stood in several finals at the Swiss Championships but none of them was recovered. "OB" is currently represented in the new Swiss third division, the 1st division promotion . Also first class and represented in several championship finals was FC Nordstern Basel . In addition, Nordstern reached the Cup finals twice, but went off the field as a loser against FC Lausanne-Sport in both cases . Nordstern received the highest defeat in the Swiss Cup in 1935 with 0:10 . FC Nordstern is playing in seventh class today. The fifth former first-class participant, FC Black Stars Basel, is number three in the city after FC Basel and BSC Old Boys Basel and plays in the fourth division, the 1st League Classic .

The Basel Ski Club was founded in 1904, making it one of the oldest ski clubs in Switzerland. In ice hockey , the EHC Basel and the EHC Basel-Kleinhüningen are represented in the first division. The handball players of RTV 1879 Basel celebrated their only Swiss championship title so far in 1984 and have represented the city again in the top division (Swiss Handball League) since 2003 after relegation. In basketball , the Starwings Basket Regio Basel are currently the only first-class representative in German-speaking Switzerland.

Other clubs include the Judo Club Basel , founded in 1935 and thus one of the oldest judo clubs in Switzerland, the Basler Ruder Club (founded in 1884), the Rhein Club Basel (founded in 1883) where you can learn to drive the flat boat Weidling , the European Ultimate Frisbee top team Freespeed Basel , the chess club Birsfelden Beider Basel (Swiss group champion 2006), and the beach soccer club BSC Scorpions Basel, which has won the Champions League several times in addition to the Swiss championship and the Swiss Cup. The Scorpions are thus one of the most successful beach soccer clubs in Europe.


Politics and City History

Jakob Meyer zum Hasen

The founder of the city is Lucius Munatius Plancus (87 BC – 15 BC), who, according to the tombstone found in Gaeta, in 44 BC. Founded the colony Augusta Raurica (today: Augst ). However, the archaeological evidence suggests as early as 6 BC. A, which is why the foundation is no longer clearly verifiable today.

Jakob Meyer zum Hasen was born in 1482 Basel and lived there all his life until 1531, and was mayor of the city from 1516 to 1521. He became known because he was the first mayor from the ranks of a guild and commissioned the Darmstadt Madonna from Hans Holbein the Younger .

Another important mayor of Basel was Johann Rudolf Wettstein (1582–1666), who unsolicited represented the position of the Swiss Confederation in the negotiations for the Peace of Westphalia and in 1648 achieved the separation of what was then Switzerland from the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation .

After the death of her husband, the art collector Maja Sacher (1896–1989) founded the Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation , which has since been dedicated to promoting and disseminating art in the Basel region. Thanks to their commitment, the Museum of Contemporary Art Basel was opened in 1980 .

The lawyer and women's rights activist Iris von Roten (1917–1990) was born in Basel and shaped the emancipation movement of women in Switzerland in the 20th century with her work Women in the Playpen . As one of the few women of her time, she studied at the universities of Bern , Geneva and Zurich and received her doctorate in law . From 1943 to 1945 she worked as an editor for the magazine Schweizer Frauenblatt . After Simone de Beauvoir's work The Opposite Sex appeared , she began to write her own book, which was published in 1958.

In 1975 a woman's mummy was found in the Barfüsserkirche . She died in 1787 and was identified as Anna Catharina Bischoff .

Economy and sport

Edouard Probst , the first Swiss participant in the Le Mans 24-hour race , was born in Basel in 1898 and died there in 1974.

Born in Alsace, Serge Lang (1920–1999) initially worked in Basel as a film and later as a sports journalist, mainly concerned with alpine skiing and cycling . He achieved lasting fame as the inventor and one of the founding fathers of the Alpine Ski World Cup .

Marcel Ospel (1950–2020) was a bank manager and Chairman of the Board of Directors of UBS. He was born in Basel. In 1998 he was the architect of the merger of the Swiss Bank Corporation (SBV) with the Swiss Bank Corporation (SBG) to form UBS.

Basel has produced a number of sporting greats. These are the following athletes from the city: the footballer Gottfried Dienst , former football referee and Karl Odermatt , former footballer; Emil Handschin , former ice hockey player, or the fencer Gianna Hablützel-Bürki , European champion and double silver medalist at the Olympic Games in Sydney (2000).

Other sporting greats such as the fencer Marcel Fischer (Biel), Olympic champion 2004, the national soccer players Alexander Frei , Marco Streller and the Yakın brothers Murat and Hakan (Münchenstein) as well as the tennis player Patty Schnyder (Bottmingen) are associated with Basel, although they actually are come from the canton of Basel-Landschaft or, like Marcel Fischer or tennis player Roger Federer , lived there for a long time.

Science, humanism, philosophy and religion

Erasmus from Rotterdam

The Dutch philologist , philosopher and humanist Erasmus von Rotterdam (1466 and 1469–1536) spent the autumn of his life in Basel. His critical theological writings made him a pioneer of the Reformation.

Theophrastus Bombast von Hohenheim, known under the name Paracelsus (1493–1541) was a doctor, alchemist, mystic, lay theologian and philosopher. His healing success made him legendary, but he also had to cope with stinging criticism. He had studied in Basel and worked as a city doctor for a year.

Johannes Heussgen or better known as Johannes Oekolampad (1482–1531) was a reformer in Basel and died there. He enjoyed a high reputation, but never had such an influential position as Huldrych Zwingli in Zurich, since Basel was the seat of a bishopric. Thanks to Oekolampad's efforts, however, freedom of belief for Reformed people in Basel was approved in 1528 .

Another reformer and founder of Calvinism is Johannes Calvin (1509–1564), who lived in Basel for several years and here published his main work Institutio Christianae Religionis for the first time. He later became a reformer of Geneva . Calvin's reputation has suffered badly from his advocacy of witch burnings . His initial colleague and later opponent Sebastian Castellio lived in Basel from 1544. Also in 1544 the Anabaptist David Joris, persecuted in the Netherlands, moved to Basel, where he lived under the name Johann von Bruck until his death in 1556.

Andreas Vesalius (1514–1564) published the first complete textbook on human anatomy De Humani Corporis Fabrica (On the structure of the human body) in Basel in 1543 .

Jakob I Bernoulli

The Bernoulli family has produced several generations important figures in mathematics and physics and other scientific branches. Eight members of the family were professors, other family members turned successfully to social science or artistic disciplines. The mathematics chair was occupied by a Bernoulli for 105 years. Jakob I Bernoulli (1655–1705) was a mathematician and physicist. He lived in Basel all his life. Jakob Bernoulli has contributed significantly to the development of probability theory as well as to the calculus of variations and to the investigation of power series. Daniel Bernoulli (1700–1782) was a mathematician and physicist and nephew of Jakob. He became known throughout Europe with his work on the Riccatian differential equation . The Bernoulli effect , named after Daniel Bernoulli, is of great importance in aerodynamics.

Leonhard Euler

Leonhard Euler (1707–1783) is considered to be one of the most important mathematicians . Euler was born in Basel and studied there. His achievements in the field of mathematics are immense and undisputed, for example he is regarded as the inventor of the symbolism commonly used in mathematics today. With over 800 publications, he is also considered the most productive mathematician of all. In 2007 Euler's 300th birthday was celebrated with a public ceremony, exhibitions, symposia and publications.

The cultural historian and humanist Jacob Burckhardt (1818–1897) lived in Basel all his life. He put his focus on Europe's art history, he achieved high recognition for his works, especially for The Time of Constantine the Great in 1857.

Friedrich Nietzsche

The physician, anatomist, zoologist, geologist and paleontologist Ludwig Rütimeyer (1825–1895) researched the prehistoric fauna of Switzerland, worked at the University of Basel from 1855 to 1894 and in 1867 became an honorary citizen of Basel. The Rütimeyerstrasse and Rütimeyerplatz are reminiscent of him.

One of the most famous German-speaking philosophers and moral critics, Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900), lived and worked in Basel from 1869 to 1879 as a professor of classical philology. It is true that he only wrote most of his well-known works after he had resigned from his profession due to illness and left Basel again. He remained connected to Basel through his friend Franz Overbeck , who continued to work there as a professor of church history.

Carl Gustav Jung

The Swiss psychoanalyst and psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung (1875–1961) spent his youth in Basel-Kleinhüningen and then, from 1895 , completed his medical studies at the University of Basel .

The Protestant Reformed theologian Karl Barth (1886–1968) lived and worked in Basel. Due to his overall theological performance, he is considered to be the “Church Father of the 20th Century” in the European Protestant Churches.

Karl Jaspers (1883–1969), an outstanding exponent of existential philosophy , taught at Basel University from 1948. He is buried today in the Hörnli cemetery.

Arminio Janner received the chair for Italian literature at the University of Basel .

The scientists Tadeus Reichstein (chemistry) and Werner Arber (biology) were professors at the University of Basel when they were honored with the Nobel Prize.

Albert Hofmann (1906–2008) Swiss chemist and professor, discoverer of the hallucinogenic effects of LSD , lived and worked in Basel.

Arts and Culture

Francesco Petrarca (1304–1374) humanist with his studies, he exerted the greatest influence on the humanists of later generations, in Switzerland for example on Glarean ; In 1356 he stayed in Basel and commented on the earthquake as an example of the instability of Fortuna.

Urs Graf the Elder (around 1485 to 1529) was a glass painter , copper engraver and goldsmith of the Renaissance, whose works are of high quality and apart from the glass works have been preserved to this day. He spent the second part of his life in Basel.

Another important painter of the Renaissance was without a doubt Hans Holbein the Younger (1497 or 1498–1543), who described himself as a Basler, although he only lived in Basel from 1515 to 1523. Holbein painted the Darmstadt Madonna or the Dance of Death .

The Basel painter, draftsman and art connoisseur Johann Rudolf Huber was trained in Basel, Bern, Venice and Rome. He was active in Basel, Stuttgart, Durlach, Bern, Neuchâtel and Solothurn and is considered the most important Swiss painter of the high baroque.

Hermann Hesse

The writer, poet and prelate Johann Peter Hebel was born in Basel in 1760, where his parents were in the service of the Iselin patrician family from Basel. He spent half of his childhood in Hausen im Wiesental and half in Basel, where he sometimes attended high school on Münsterplatz. Lever later wrote, among other things, the poem Remembrance of Basel, the text of which forms the basis for the Baslerlied . Today, the Basler Hebelstiftung takes care of the memory of Hebel in Basel.

Arnold Böcklin (1827–1901) was a painter, draftsman, graphic artist and sculptor in Basel. He is considered one of the most important visual artists of the 19th century in Europe. The work Die Toteninsel comes from him, and a late self-portrait is one of his main works. His most important student, the fin-de-siècle artist Hans Sandreuter (1850–1901) created numerous works here, including the facade of the “Bear Guild” and the wall work of the “Blacksmiths Guild” in Old Basel.

The history and genre painter Johann Baptist Weißbrod (1834–1912) worked in Basel from 1870.

Hermann Hesse (1877–1962) was a German-Swiss poet, writer and painter. His most famous works are Der Steppenwolf , Siddhartha and Das Glasperlenspiel . In 1946 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. He lived in Basel from 1881 to 1886 and then again from 1899 to 1904 and later, in 1924, received Swiss citizenship.

The painter Alfred Heinrich Pellegrini (1881–1958) was also a wall painter. He was born in Basel as the son of Isidor. In 1896 he joined the arts and crafts department of the general trade school in Basel. In Munich worked as a teacher at the School of Applied Arts and a member of the New Secession .

The architect Hannes Meyer (1889–1954) was born in Basel, taught at the Bauhaus and had an eventful life with stations in Switzerland, Germany, Russia and Mexico . He is primarily responsible for works in the area of ​​settlement construction.

For the literary critic and translator Walter Widmer (1903–1965), Basel was the center of life, and in 1938 his son, the writer Urs Widmer, was born here.

The Swiss artist Irène Zurkinden (1909–1987), who was born in Basel , played a decisive role in shaping the city's artistic milieu for decades. From 1942 Zurkinden took part in the exhibitions of Group 33 . Surrealist-inspired works were created in the second half of the 1930s and early 1940s. The Kunstmuseum Basel honored her in 1985 with a comprehensive retrospective of her work. After the Second World War , Zurkinden lived alternately in Basel and Paris and made long trips to Morocco (1948), Spain (1950/51) and Italy (1952/53). During these years she designed costumes and sets for the Stadttheater Basel and received more and more illustration orders for books.

For the Berlin-born artist Meret Oppenheim (1913–1985), when she emigrated from Germany at an early age, Basel became an important place of reference and work throughout her life. Together with André Breton , Luis Buñuel and Max Ernst, she was one of the most important representatives of magical surrealism . In addition to making numerous figures, statues and other kinds of art installations, she is also famous for Man Ray's photographs , which appeared in her picture cycle Érotique voilée in 1933 and earned her the reputation of the “muse of the surrealists”.

The sculptor Paul Suter (1926–2009) had a studio in Basel. He is considered one of the great Swiss steel sculptors after the Second World War. Many of his large steel sculptures can be found in Basel on public streets and squares.

The painter, graphic artist and sculptor René Bernasconi came to Basel in 1946 and stayed there until his death in 1994. In the obituary, the Basler Zeitung wrote that Bernasconi “with his noble abstractions belonged to the habitués of the city's exhibition business”. His four large concrete reliefs are freely accessible at the school, built from 1959 on Engelgasse in Basel's St. Alban district.

One of the most famous Swiss film producers is Arthur Cohn (* 1927), who was born in Basel. Cohn achieved fame and honor in Hollywood through his productions, so he is the only non-American producer with a star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame . His most famous productions are Central Station , One Day in September , Behind the Sun and The Children of Monsieur Mathieu .

The actress Marthe Keller (* 1945) was born in Basel. She is generally one of the most successful Swiss actresses on the international stage. At the beginning of 2012 Marthe Keller was raised by the French government to the rank of Knight of the French Legion of Honor .

Jacques Herzog (* 1950) and Pierre de Meuron (* 1950) together form the well-known architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron based in Basel. Their buildings are known and recognized around the world, for example the St. Jakobpark in Basel, the Allianz Arena in Munich or the Beijing National Stadium, known as the “bird's nest” .

Dani Levy was born in Basel in 1957 . He is extremely successful as an actor, screenwriter and director, his films like Meschugge and Alles auf Zucker! ran at the Cannes Film Festival and at the Berlinale , where it also received awards for the latter film. His film Mein Führer - The Truly Truth About Adolf Hitler was shown in German-speaking cinemas in spring 2007.

public perception

Basel offers homeless beggars one-way tickets to other countries on the condition that they undertake not to return to Switzerland.

See also

Portal: Basel  - Overview of Wikipedia content on the subject of Basel


older chronicles

  • Christian Wurstisen : Baßler Chronick / Dariñ everything that […] is not only in the place and diocese of Basel from its origin […] bit into the present MDLXXX Jar Gedenckwirdiges […] (= Bibliotheca Palatina. H2037 / H2043). Sebastian Henricpetri, Basel 1580, OCLC 312373054 ( limited preview in Google book search).
  • Johann Groß: Kurtze Baßler Chronick: Or: Summarized term of all memorable things and dealings, so from fourteen hundred years up to the MDCXXIV. Year […] occurred […]. Johann Jacob Genath, Basel 1624 ( limited preview in Google book search).


Web links

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  1. ^ Evangelical-Reformed regional churches and other evangelical religious communities.
  2. There was a shift within the group of “other Christians”: the number of Christian Catholics fell sharply, while the number of Eastern Churches increased roughly at the same rate.
  3. There are two explanations for the decrease in those without affiliation between 1990 and 2000:
    • Among the foreigners, the proportion of those with no affiliation fell sharply.
    • One can assume that those without affiliation refused to provide information more than average. Due to the high number of refusals to provide information in the 2000 census, this would result in a noticeable falsification of the statistics.

Individual evidence

  1. FSO Generalized Boundaries 2020 . For later parish mergers, heights are summarized based on January 1, 2020. Accessed May 17, 2021
  2. Generalized limits 2020 . In the case of later community mergers, areas will be combined based on January 1, 2020. Accessed May 17, 2021
  3. Regional portraits 2021: key figures for all municipalities . In the case of later community mergers, population figures are summarized based on 2019. Accessed May 17, 2021
  4. Regional portraits 2021: key figures for all municipalities . In the case of later municipal mergers, the percentage of foreigners summarized based on the 2019 status. Accessed May 17, 2021
  5. a b c Regional portraits 2021: key figures for all municipalities . In the case of later community mergers, population figures are summarized based on 2019. Accessed May 17, 2021
  6. Switzerland Tourism: Basel Region. Retrieved September 22, 2020 .
  7. Reto Hefti: The City of Basel - Swiss Capital of Culture. In: October 29, 2016, accessed September 22, 2020 .
  8. Museums | Basel. In: Retrieved March 3, 2017 . .
  9. ^ Fellmann: 550 years of the University of Basel. Retrieved September 23, 2017 .
  10. ^ Georg Kreis : University of Basel. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland . January 28, 2013 , accessed January 7, 2018 .
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  12. Ranking of the cities with the highest quality of life In:, accessed on May 23, 2021.
  13. a b c Climate standard values ​​Basel / Binningen standard period 1981–2010. (PDF; 295 kB). In: , accessed on January 21, 2021.
  14. Meteocentrale Switzerland. In:, accessed on July 21, 2016; Weather station Bergalingerstrasse 260 m above sea level M. The weather station at the Tinguely Museum in Basel. In:, accessed on July 21, 2016; Weather data selection - location: Weather station "Im Lange Loh" since 1945, 265 m above sea level. In:, accessed on July 21, 2016.
  15. Monthly and annual values ​​of the meteorological elements in 2018 Basel-Binningen. ( Memento of February 25, 2020 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 69 kB). In:, accessed on February 25, 2020.
  16. Peter Knechtli: An earthquake could banish Basel from the map. Despite the high risk, the population of Basel is not prepared for the disaster. In:, accessed on July 21, 2016.
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  18. amu / sda: The Basel geothermal hole is being drilled again ( memento from March 27, 2015 in the Internet Archive ). In: Basler Zeitung. Updated March 30, 2010, accessed July 21, 2016.
  19. sda: The pressure has now been released - Basel - Badische Zeitung . November 2, 2017 ( [accessed November 3, 2017]).
  20. SDA / zum: Geothermal. Acquittal for Basel chief geologist. In: look. December 21, 2009. Updated January 3, 2012, accessed July 21, 2016.
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  22. a b Andres Kristol et al .: Dictionnaire toponymique des communes suisses - Lexicon of Swiss community names - Dizionario toponomastico dei comuni svizzeri. Center de dialectologie, Université de Neuchâtel, Verlag Huber, Frauenfeld / Stuttgart / Vienna 2005, ISBN 3-7193-1308-5 , and Éditions Payot, Lausanne 2005, ISBN 2-601-03336-3 .
  23. Michael Blatter / Canton of Basel-Landschaft, State Archives: What does the name "Basel" mean? (No longer available online.) In: Archived from the original on November 5, 2012 ; Retrieved June 27, 2009 . Peter Ochs: History of the city and landscape of Basel. Volume 1, Berlin / Leipzig 1786, OCLC 563591465 , p. 106.
  24. a b Ammianus Marcellinus, lib. XXX, cap. III.
  25. ^ Joseph Trouillat : Monuments de l'histoire de l'ancien évêché de Bâle, de l'origine à 1500, Porrentruy 1852, Victor Michel. Vol. 1, chap. 7, p. 13.
  26. ^ The corresponding passage reads: "... munimentum aedificanti prope Basiliam, quod appellant accolae Robur ...".
  27. Jürg Tauber: The hand ax from Pratteln. In: Jürg Ewald, Jürg Tauber (Hrsg.): Tatort Past. Results from archeology today. Wiese-Verlag, Basel 1998, ISBN 3-909164-62-5 , p. 94 f.
  28. Archaeological Soil Research Basel-Stadt
  29. ^ Rolf d'Aujourd'hui: On the Genius Loci of Basel - A central place in the Belchen system. In: Basler Stadtbuch 1997. Basel 1998, pp. 125–138.
  30. ^ René Teuteberg: Basel history. P. 52.
  31. Markus Asal: Basilia - the late antique Basel. Investigations into the late Roman and early medieval settlement history. The excavation Martinsgasse 6 + 8 (2004/1) and other excavations in the northern part of the Münsterhügel (= material booklets for archeology in Basel. Issue 24). 2 volumes, Archäologische Bodenforschung Basel-Stadt, Basel 2017, ISBN 978-3-905098-63-1 , especially the synthesis on pp. 289-312.
  32. ^ Rolf d'Aujourd'hui: Basel (city). 1 - From prehistory to the early Middle Ages - the Alemannic and Franconian times. In: Historisches Lexikon der Schweiz , accessed on May 8, 2014 .
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  34. ^ René Teuteberg: Basel history. Pp. 133-135.
  35. a b Werner Meyer : Basel (city). 2.1 - Under the rule of the prince-bishop. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland . May 30, 2017. Retrieved December 15, 2018 .
  36. ^ Werner Meyer: Basel (canton). 2.2 - Territorial formation and alliance policy from the 13th century to accession to the Swiss Confederation. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland . January 13, 2016 , accessed December 15, 2018 .
  37. ^ Dietrich WH Schwarz : The cities of Switzerland in the 15th century . In: Communications from the Antiquarian Society in Zurich . tape 60 , 1993, pp. 232-233 , doi : 10.5169 / seals-378993 .
  38. Basel, the city of the Reformation. Switzerland. Reformation history from the 15th to the 21st century: CPCE General Assembly Basel 2018. In:, accessed on March 18, 2018.
  39. Thomas Straumann: Geneva bankers, highly qualified religious refugees and silk traders: How the Reformation affected the Swiss economy. While the Reformation was in progress, the foundation stone for the later globalized economy and an internationally networked Switzerland was laid. In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ). April 27, 2017.
  40. Martin Steinmann : Oporinus, Johannes. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  41. Jürg Tauber, Werner Meyer , Ruedi Brassel-Moser , Bernard Degen : Basel (Canton). In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  42. ^ Rolf d'Aujourd'hui, Hans Berner, Niklaus Röthlin, Bernard Degen , Philipp Sarasin : Basel (-Stadt). In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  43. ^ Anton Schlossar: Archduke Johann of Austria and his influence on the cultural life of Styria. Original letters from the Archduke from 1810–1825. Contribution to the cultural history of Austria, with an introduction, explanations, remarks and an appendix to documentary supplements on contemporary history. Wilhelm Braumüller, Vienna 1878, OCLC 163231967 , p. 307 ( limited preview in Google book search).
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  46. Sylvia Schenker, Jonas Peter Weber: Five dead, many injured, but none of the requirements met. For the Basel general strike of 1919, which eighty years ago paralyzed the city on the Rhine for a few days in August. In: August 2, 2017, accessed on August 26, 2019 (from the online archive of the Basler Zeitung on August 9, 1999).
  47. The works are by: Paula Modersohn-Becker (3), André Derain (2), Marc Chagall (2), Franz Marc (2), Oskar Kokoschka , Emil Nolde , Paul Klee , Otto Dix , Max Beckmann , Lovis Corinth ( 2), Oskar Schlemmer (2), Georg Schrimpf (2) and Ernst Barlach . Georg Kreis et al. See “Degenerate” art for Basel. The challenge of 1939. Wiese Verlag, Basel 1990, ISBN 3-909158-31-5 .
  48. Controversial Podcast No. 38 “Degenerate Art” for Basel. In:, Kunstmuseum Basel, accessed on January 21, 2021.
  49. The depiction of the time of the Second World War with specific reference to Basel begins in 1957 with: Fritz Grieder: Basel in the Second World War 1939–1945. In: Basler Neujahrsblatt. 1957. Research activity has increased significantly since 1989: Exhibition Reduit Basel , with catalog: Nadia Guth, Bettina Hunger (eds.): Réduit Basel 39–45. Friedrich Reinhardt Verlag, Basel 1989. Heiko Haumann, Erik Petry, Julia Richers (eds.): Places of remembrance. People and scenes in the Basel border region 1933–1945. Christoph Merian Verlag, April 2008. Lukrezia Seiler, Jean-Claude Wacker: Refugees came almost every day. Riehen and Bettingen - two border villages 1933 to 1948. Christoph Merian Verlag, Basel 2013. Basel Historical Museum, Alexandra Heini, Patrick Moser (eds.): Grenzfalls. Basel 1933–1945. Christoph Merian Verlag, Basel 2020.
  50. Patrick Schlenker: Bombs dropped over Basel and Binningen from 16./17. December 1940. In:, 2011/2020, accessed on January 21, 2021.
  51. ^ Constitution of the canton of Basel-Stadt of March 23, 2005 (as of March 3, 2016). In: , accessed on July 21, 2016.
  52. On the importance of Basel in the history of the Reformation, see the sections Modern Times and Religions as well as the city portraits of the project “Reformation Cities of Europe”: Reformation City of Basel. Switzerland. Reformation history from the 15th to the 21st century: CPCE General Assembly Basel 2018. In:, accessed on July 20, 2016, as well as the project “European Station Path” : Basel ( Memento from July 29, 2016 on the Internet Archives ). In: Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  53. Global Human Settlement - Urban centers database 2018 visualization - European Commission. Retrieved January 24, 2021 .
  54. Resident population and inhabited buildings by municipality since 1741. (XLSX) (No longer available online.) In: Statistical Office of the Canton of Basel-Stadt, October 23, 2014, archived from the original on May 10, 2016 ; accessed on September 8, 2018 .
  55. FSO: Agglomerations 2000. Analysis regions ( memento of April 8, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) and list of cross-border agglomerations, 2000. (XLS; 40 kB) (No longer available online.) In: Archived from the original on November 15, 2015 ; accessed on September 8, 2018 . ; Urban Audit 2016, Cross-Border Data 2014 for Basel. Federal Office for statistics; published April 27, 2017.
  56. Policy plan 2006–2009. Corrected version October 2005 (corrections in graphics 2.1.2 and 2.3.2). Edited by the State Chancellery of the Canton of Basel-Stadt, information and public relations. Basel 2005, p. 7, 36 f., 57 ( ( memento of August 7, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) [PDF; 2.1 MB]).
  57. From “pious Basel” to a multi-religious city. In:, accessed on July 21, 2016.
  58. Soon every second Basler no religious affiliation - . In: . October 23, 2013 ( [accessed on September 6, 2017]).
  59. Simon Hehli: Tour de Suisse of the Reformation. In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung . November 4, 2016, p. 15.
  60. ^ Evangelical Reformed Church of the Canton of Basel-Stadt: Church buildings of the Evangelical Reformed Church of Basel-Stadt. With a foreword by Lukas Kundert. Edited by Evangelisch-Reformierte Kirche Basel-Stadt, Basel [2010], OCLC 841877849 (photos).
  61. a b Population religious affiliation accessed on March 12, 2018, Statistisches Amt Basel-Stadt.
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