Bale | SwitzerlandBasel (/ˈbɑːzəl/; also Basle /bɑːl/; German: Basel [ˈbaːzl̩]; French: Bâle [bɑːl]; Italian: Basilea [baziˈlɛːa]) is a city in northwestern Switzerland on the river Rhine. Basel is Switzerland's third-most-populous city (after Zürich and Geneva) with about 175,000 inhabitants.
Located where the Swiss, French and German borders meet, Basel also has suburbs in France and Germany. In 2014, the Basel agglomeration was the third largest in Switzerland with a population of 537,100 in 74 municipalities in Switzerland and an additional 53 in neighboring countries (municipal count as of 2000). The official language of Basel is (the Swiss variety of Standard) German, but the main spoken language is the local variant of the Alemannic Swiss German dialect.
The city is known for its many internationally renowned museums, ranging from the Kunstmuseum, the first collection of art accessible to the public in Europe (1661) and the largest museum of art in the whole of Switzerland, to the Fondation Beyeler (located in Riehen). The University of Basel, founded in 1460, Switzerland's oldest university and the city's centuries long commitment to humanism, have made Basel a safe haven during times of political unrest in other parts of Europe to the likes of Erasmus of Rotterdam, the Holbein family, and more recently also to Hermann Hesse and Karl Jaspers.
Basel has been the seat of a Prince-Bishopric since the 11th century, and joined the Swiss Confederacy in 1501. The city has been a commercial hub and important cultural centre since the Renaissance, and has emerged as a centre for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry in the 20th century. In 1897, the city was chosen as the location for the first World Zionist Congress by Theodor Herzl, and all together the congress has taken place in Basel for ten times over a time span of 50 years, more than in any other city in the world. The city is also home to the worldwide seat of the Bank for International Settlements.
Today the city of Basel, together with two other Swiss cities Zürich and Geneva, is counted among the cities with the highest standards of living in the world.
There are settlement traces on the Rhine knee from the early La Tène period (5th century BC). In the 2nd century BC, there was a village of the Raurici at the site of Basel-Gasfabrik, to the northwest of the Old City, likely identical with the town of Arialbinnum mentioned on the Tabula Peutingeriana. The unfortified settlement was abandoned in the 1st century BC in favour of an oppidum on the site of Basel Minster, probably in reaction to the Roman invasion of Gaul.
In Roman Gaul, Augusta Raurica was established some 20 km from Basel as the regional administrative centre, while a castra (castle) was built on the site of the Celtic oppidum. The city of Basel eventually grew around the castle. In AD 83, Basel was incorporated into the Roman province of Germania Superior. Roman control over the area deteriorated in the 3rd century, and Basel became an outpost of the Provincia Maxima Sequanorum formed by Diocletian.
The Germanic confederation of the Alemanni attempted to cross the Rhine several times in the 4th century, but were repelled, one such event being the Battle of Solicinium (368). However, in the great invasion of AD 406, the Alemanni appear to have crossed the Rhine river a final time, conquering and then settling what is today Alsace and a large part of the Swiss Plateau. From this time, Basel has been an Alemannic settlement.
The Duchy of Alemannia fell under Frankish rule in the 6th century, and by the 7th century, the former bishopric of Augusta Raurica was re-established as the Bishopric of Basel. Based on the evidence of a third solidus with the inscription Basilia fit, Basel seems to have minted its own coins in the 7th century. Under bishop Haito, the first cathedral was built on the site of the Roman castle, later replaced by a Romanesque structure consecrated in 1019. At the partition of the Carolingian Empire, Basel was first given to West Francia, but passed to East Francia with the treaty of Meerssen of 870.
In 1792, the Republic of Rauracia, a revolutionary French client republic, was created. It lasted until 1793. After three years of political agitation and a short civil war in 1833 the disadvantaged countryside seceded from the Canton of Basel, forming the half canton of Basel-Landschaft.
On 3 July 1874, Switzerland's first zoo (the Zoo Basel) opened its doors in the south of the city towards Binningen.
In 1897 the first World Zionist Congress was held in Basel. Altogether the World Zionist Congress took place in Basel for ten times, more than in any other city in the world.
On 16 November 1938, the psychedelic drug LSD was first synthesized by Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann at Sandoz Laboratories in Basel.
The canton's executive, the Executive Council (Regierungsrat), consists of seven members for a mandate period of 4 years. They are elected by any inhabitant valid to vote on the same day as the parliament, but by means of a system of Majorz, and operates as a collegiate authority. The president (German: Regierungspräsident(in)) is elected as such by a public election while the heads of the other departments are assigned by the collegiate. Current president is Dr. Guy Morin. The executive body holds its meetings in the red Town Hall (German: Rathaus) on the central Marktplatz. The building was built in 1504–1514.
As of 2016, Basel's Executive Council is made up of three representatives of the SP (Social Democratic Party), and one member each of Green Alliance of Basel (GB) (who is the president), FDP (Free Democratic Party), LDP (Liberal-Demokratische Partei of Basel), and CVP (Christian Democratic Party), giving the left parties a combined four out of seven seats. The last election was held on 23 October and 27 November 2016.
As of 2000 the average number of residents per living room was 0.59 which is about equal to the cantonal average of 0.58 per room. In this case, a room is defined as space of a housing unit of at least 4 m2 (43 sq ft) as normal bedrooms, dining rooms, living rooms, kitchens and habitable cellars and attics. :18v About 10.5% of the total households were owner occupied, or in other words did not pay rent (though they may have a mortgage or a rent-to-own agreement). :17 As of 2000, there were 86,371 private households in the municipality, and an average of 1.8 persons per household. There were 44,469 households that consist of only one person and 2,842 households with five or more people. Out of a total of 88,646 households that answered this question, 50.2% were households made up of just one person and there were 451 adults who lived with their parents. Of the rest of the households, there are 20,472 married couples without children, 14,554 married couples with children There were 4,318 single parents with a child or children. There were 2,107 households that were made up of unrelated people and 2,275 households that were made up of some sort of institution or another collective housing.
In 2000 there were 5,747 single family homes (or 30.8% of the total) out of a total of 18,631 inhabited buildings. There were 7,642 multi-family buildings (41.0%), along with 4,093 multi-purpose buildings that were mostly used for housing (22.0%) and 1,149 other use buildings (commercial or industrial) that also had some housing (6.2%). Of the single family homes 1090 were built before 1919, while 65 were built between 1990 and 2000. The greatest number of single family homes (3,474) were built between 1919 and 1945.