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Basel History, Switzerland

Basel, Switzerland - History  

Basel is amongst the most populous cities of Switzerland.  It is located on the bank of River Rhine. It is also known as the hub of pharmaceutical, chemical and textile industries in Switzerland.  Basel has proximity with German Baden-Württemberg and French Alsace in culture and traditions. It is also a home to the oldest University of Switzerland.

Basel has been a conclusion of different accords. Treaty of Basel was signed in 1499 led to the end of Swabian War and after few years Basel joined the Swiss Confederation. The inhabitants of Basel are German speaking and a generally spoken dialect of Basel is “Basel German”.

Basel has great history and traditions. During the Roman Empire, Augusta Raurica was settled upstream of Basel. A castle was built on the hill near Basel Münster.

The older Celtic settlements have also been discovered in this area. Basel possessed the only bridge between Lake Constance and the sea.  In Latin, the basil was called 'Basilia' and this name has also been preserved in history.

In 999, Basel was ruled by Prince Bishop, whose memories are still preserved in the Basel coat-of-arms. The construction of the Catheredal in Basel started under German Emperor Heinrich II. In 1356, a disastrous earthquake destroyed much of the city.  Most of the buildings of historical and archeological importance were reconstructed in the latter years. In the 15th century, Basel became focal point of western Christendom.

In 1459, pope founded Basel’s University. The University was also a home to many great philosophers of that age. In the same age, Schwabe publishing house was founded by Johannes Petry. It had a great historical importance and served as a business point for the settlers.

Another publishing house was established by Johann Froben who operated it for many years. Both these publishing houses also served as the most important business points in Basil for a long time. In 1500, the construction of Basel Münster was completed.

In 1501, the Basel de facto joined the Swiss Confederation and separated from Roman Empire. In 1529, the reformation of the Oecolampadius was completed. In 1536, Christianae religionis institution was published in Latin. Andreas Vesalius published a book on anatomy in 1543. In 1662, Amerbaschsches Kabinett formed the basis of Basel Museum of Art.

In 1792, Republic of Rauracia was created and it lasted until 1793. After civil war in 1833, some of the country side seceded by Basel. Basel hosted extraordinary congress of the Second International in 1912 to discuss the effects of Balkan wars.

The city of Basel witnessed the economical boom in 1900s. The first class residential and industrial infrastructure and transportation system has made Basel an economical hub of Switzerland.

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