On the Bend of the Rhine Sits Basel

By: Douglas Scott

Basel, is situated on the Rhine exactly where Switzerland, Germany and France borders meet. The city canton with roughly 190,000 inhabitants and with a 2000-year history is located on the bend of the Rhine on the borders with France and Germany.

It is Switzerland's second-largest city, and its wealthy patrician families have nurtured a tradition of scholarship and art since the Renaissance.

The Euro Airport is on French soil. There are two parts of the city which are linked by half a dozen bridges, plus four ferries powered by river currents. The first bridge, erected in 1225, was for centuries the only one across the Rhine.

The main focus of the activities pursued by banks in Basel is private banking. Many of these banks have distinguished histories extending back for centuries. Basel is also the seat of the central bankers central bank known as the Bank for International Settlements. It chemical and pharmaceutical industry is one of the most important in the world.

The city is best explored on foot. The Gundeldinger District is where Basel's newest brewery, Unser Bier which has recently moved into the area, and you can sample its delicious beer in its very own watering-hole and the Gundeldingerhof is a good place to eat as well.

Regardless of which language you speak, you will find lots of options for night life. Bar Rouge is located in the Messeturm and is a bar and disco. The Messeturm is, at 107 meters, the highest building in Switzerland and one of the new highlights of Basels Skyline. What is special here are the toilets on entering your toilet cabin, you have a wonderful view right over the city, as the windows go from the ceiling to the floor. Not for people who are afraid of heights.

Hermass, is the Basel Autumn Fair and Market, which takes over the city every year for ten days of fun and festivities. While the commercial fair sees shoppers flock to the Messe Basel, the rest of the city is set a light with Europe's longest-running traditional fair, which celebrated its 535th birthday in 2005.

There are a number of small theatres in the city. The popular Fauteuiltheater is located in the vaulted cellars of a Mediaeval nobleman's residence in Spalenberg. The same building also accommodates the Tabourettli, where the interior designs and structural concept were designed by the star architect Santiago Calatrava well worth a visit.

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