Basel, Switzerland Overview

According to mathgeneral, Basel, French Bâle [ba ː l], is the capital of the canton of Basel-Stadt, third largest city in Switzerland, 245–300 m above sea level, (2018) 172,300 residents, as an agglomeration 550,000 residents.

Basel is in the German-French-Swiss “triangle”, on both sides of the Rhine, on the right Klein-Basel with most of the industrial plants and the trade fair, on the left the higher-lying Greater Basel with the old town and most of the service companies. Both parts of the city are connected by six bridges and four ferries (St. Alban, Münster, Klingental, St. Johann). The Mittlere Brücke (1903–1905) connects the centers in Greater and Kleinbasel; upstream are the Wettstein (1991), the Black Forest (1972; through traffic) and the railway bridge (1872–73, renewed in 1962), downstream are the Johanniter (1965–67) and the Dreirosen Bridge (2003; northern bypass). Thanks to its location at the southern end of the Upper Rhine Plain and at the Burgundian Gate, as well as the river that can be navigated from here for larger ships, Basel has long been one of the most important trading centers in Central Europe.


Basel is not only a trade and service center (headquarters of the Bank for International Settlements, the Swiss Maritime Administration; European World Trade and Congress Center since 1984; Stücki shopping center and business park at the Basel North traffic junction; location of numerous trade fairs and exhibitions, e.g. the Swiss Exhibition), but also one of the most important industrial cities in Switzerland. By far the most important branch today is the chemical-pharmaceutical industry, which developed from the paint industry and silk ribbon weaving; Communication and nanotechnology as well as graphic companies and publishers are also important.


The Rhine ports of both Basel (Basel-Stadt with the port of Kleinhüningen, Basel-Landschaft with the Auhafen Muttenz and the Birsfeld port) form with (2017) 5.79 million tonnes, the largest goods transshipment point in Switzerland and are optimally connected to the European road and Connected to the rail network. Because of the limited space in the canton, the international airport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg im Breisgau is on French territory near Blotzheim.


The old town on the left bank of the Rhine has retained its image, which has grown since the Middle Ages, especially around Münsterplatz, on Nadelberg, Heuberg and Spalenberg; the same applies to three of the five suburbs included in the wall ring in the second half of the 14th century (St. Alban, Spalen-, St.-Johann-Vorstadt) as well as for the Rheingasse on the right bank of the Rhine. The main business and traffic streets, on the other hand, received their face mainly in the course of urban redesign in the 19th and 20th centuries. Century. The younger quarters, which emerged from 1860 onwards, are particularly characterized by block perimeter development, whereby single-family row houses with ample green spaces were initially built, and since the end of the 19th century mainly apartment blocks.

On the Münsterberg above the Rhine lies the five-aisled minster, built on the site of a Romanesque predecessor (1006–19) from 1185–1205. 1st and 5th nave; 1356–63 new choir building). The Romanesque Gallus Gate at the north transept is one of the oldest figure portals in German-speaking countries (1185); Also important are the late Romanesque capitals in the nave and ambulatory, the Gothic west portal from the 13th century with the donor figures (Emperor Heinrich II. and Empress Kunigunde) and the richly carved choir stalls (1432).

Martinskirche (1356–98 and until the middle of the 15th century), the city’s oldest parish church, is also located on the Münsterberg. The Predigerkirche has an early Gothic choir (1261–69), the three-aisled nave is from 1356. The former Barefoot Church (first half of the 14th century; today part of the Basel Historical Museum) with the high Gothic choir was the most monumental Franciscan church in Switzerland. The Sankt-Leonhards-Kirche is a late Gothic hall church (in addition to preserved parts of the predecessor building destroyed in 1356, mainly 1356–88 and 1480 ff.) With a Romanesque hall crypt. Also noteworthy are the late Gothic St.

In Klein-Basel there are the Theodorskirche (originally 13th century, mainly 14th / 15th century), Sankt Clara (14th and 19th centuries), remnants of the former Carthusian monastery of Sankt Margarethental (15th / 16th century, since 1669 orphanage) and the Klingental monastery. The Elisabeth Church (1857–64) is one of the outstanding early neo-Gothic works in Switzerland. The Antoniuskirche (1925–27, by K. C. Moser) is the first modern church in Switzerland and a pioneering work in exposed concrete construction.

Among the secular buildings, the town hall (oldest parts 1504–14) is of particular art historical importance, essentially one from the 16th – 19th centuries. Century building group around an inner courtyard with illusionistic facade painting (especially 1608/09); Council chamber with carved ceiling (1512–14) and door (1595).

Other outstanding secular buildings are: Spalentor (end of the 14th and end of 15th centuries), Geltenzunft, Spießhof (16th century), Ramsteinerhof, Markgräflerhof, White and Blue House, Wildt’sches Haus, sand pit, Zum Kirschgarten, Zum Raben (18th century). Century), reading society, cathedral courtyard, natural history museum, main post office, town hall extension (19th century), Badischer Bahnhof, sample fair (20th century). The art museum (1932–36, by P. Bonatz and Rudolf Christ), Kantonsspital (1938–45; expanded 2000–02 by Silvia Gmür and Livio Vacchini), the city theater (1963–75, by Felix Schwarz and Rolf Gutmann) set modern accents) with the nearby carnival fountain (1977, from J. Tinguely). P. Artaria and H. Schmidt built highly regarded houses and villas, important school buildings were designed by Roland Rohn (college building of the university, 1937–39), H. Baur (trade school, 1938–61), Diener & Diener (Vogesenschule, 1993–96).

Katharina and Wilfried Steib (Museum für Gegenwartskunst, 1980), M. Botta (Museum Jean Tinguely, 1993–96), R. Piano (Fondation Beyeler in Riehen, 1993–97) made significant contributions to museum construction; Herzog & de Meuron, who also have many other buildings in Basel, succeeded in building the “Schaulager” (art depot, archive, study gallery and exhibition hall) in 2003, with the convincing architectural implementation of a new museum concept. The new exhibition tower (completed in 2003, by Morger & Degelo and Daniele Marques) rises up to a height of 105 m) in terms of urban planning. The tallest skyscraper not only in Basel, but in Switzerland as a whole is the 178 m high Roche Tower (completed in 2015, by Herzog & de Meuron).

Basel, Switzerland Overview