Basel, Switzerland. Overview and attractions

By: Tatyana Kogut.

Basel is located close to the German and French borders, on the edge of Switzerland but in the very centre of Europe. The river Rhine divides the city into two parts: Grossbasel lies on its left bank whereas Kleinbasel is on the right. The two parts of the city are connected by six bridges. The historical centre is in Grossbasel. Basel is also an important banking and industrial centre. This cosmopolitan city stretches along Rhein. Basel inhabitants can be proud of the long and rich history their city has. Celtic tribes and Romans  both left their traces in Basel and their culture plays an important role in the city's life. Basel was once a Roman fort called Basilia (374 CE), then for almost a thousand years ruled by prince-bishops. In 1431  1448 Basel was the centre for western Christendom, and the Pope was elected here. However, after the Reformation in 1529 the city was flooded with those hiding from religious persecution. People from Holland, Italy and France arrived to Basel, laying foundation to its gold epoch of the 18th century.

Basel is often referred to as an important Swiss cultural centre. In 1516 the famous Dutch humanist, scientist and writer Erasmus of Rotterdam printed the first New Testament in Greek. Erasmus is buried in the cathedral of Basel. The other famous Basel inhabitants are: Hans Holbein the Younger, who painted Erasmus's portrait and German philosophist Friedrich Nietzsche who studied at local university. Nowadays the city's cultural traditions are followed at its numerous museums, art galleries and schools. The city is also known for its international market people go to to buy artistic masterpieces or antiques. The best way to study local attractions is an unmounted trip along the city streets. There are lots of them close to Marktplatz, Basel's market square and its Roman late-Romanesque/early Gothic Cathedral. The mountaineous city suburbs offer excelent views on Basel.The old town has lots of well-preserved medieval buildings and Baroque-style constructions, the main of which is the Cathedral. The symbol of Basel is Rathaus, its Town Hall made of red bricks, beautiful like decoration from a fairytale. The city is rich in cultural events: there are about 30 museums here the most famous of which are Kunstmuseum and Fondation Beyeler, Museum Jean Tinguely, Antique museum and Museum of Cultures. One local event that attracts people to Basel is its Art Basel exhibition.There are works of art found almost everywhere in Basel  on its streets, in the alleys, on the squares and even on house facades. Some say that the best attraction one might find in the city is its Spalentor (Spalen) Gate, which is not only a powerful defensive installation, but also an excellent architectural sight, constructed in the end of the 14th century. More than a thousand of concerts, festivals and musicals are organised in Basel every yearFree Articles, needless to say a word about the ?Davidoff Swiss In-doors? tennis tournament which attracts thousands of sports fans to the city.

Top Searches on
Europe Destinations
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Europe Destinations