Skip to main content
Select Source:

Basel

Basel (bä´zəl) or Basle (bäl), Fr. Bâle, canton, N Switzerland, bordering on France and Germany. It is bounded in the N by the Rhine River (which becomes navigable in the canton) and in the S by the Jura Mts. Although it has industries, Basel is mainly a region of fertile fields, meadows, orchards, and forests. Its inhabitants are German-speaking and Protestant. The canton has been divided since 1833 into two independent half cantons—Basel-Land (1993 pop. 248,500), 165 sq mi (427 sq km), generally comprising the rural districts, with its capital at Liestal, and Basel-Stadt (1993 pop. 196,600), 14 sq mi (36 sq km), virtually coextensive with the city of Basel (1993 pop. 175,500) and its suburbs.

Divided by the Rhine, the city consists of Greater Basel (Grossbasel, left bank), which is the commercial and intellectual center, and Lesser Basel (Kleinbasel), where industry is concentrated. Basel is a major economic center and the chief rail junction and river port of Switzerland. It is also a financial center. The city is the seat of the Swiss chemical and pharmaceutical industry and of the Swiss Industries Fair; it also has an important publishing industry. Other products are machinery and silk textiles.

Founded by the Romans (and named Basilia), it became an episcopal see in the 7th cent. It passed successively to the Alemanni, the Franks, and to Transjurane Burgundy. In the 11th cent. it became a free imperial city and the residence of prince-bishops. The celebrated Council of Basel (see separate article) met there in the mid-15th cent. Basel joined the Swiss Confederation in 1501 and accepted the Reformation in 1523. Although expelled from the city, the bishops continued to rule the bishopric of Basel (including Porrentruy and Delémont, which in 1815 became part of Bern canton and in 1979 part of Jura canton). The oppressive rule of the city's patriciate over the rest of the canton led to revolts (1831–33) and the eventual split into two cantons.

One of the oldest intellectual centers of Europe, Basel has through its university (founded 1460 by Pius II) attracted leading artists, scholars, and teachers. It was the residence of Froben, Erasmus, Holbein the Younger, Calvin, Nietzsche, and the Bernoulli family. Jacob Burckhardt and Leonhard Euler were born there. Among the city's noted structures are the cathedral (consecrated 1019), in which Erasmus is buried; the medieval gates; several guild houses; the 16th-century town hall; the Kunstmuseum with a valuable collection of Holbein's works; and the Fondation Beyeler, a modern-art museum designed by Renzo Piano. The city has many other art galleries and museums. Basel's St. Johann neighborhood is the site of a number of buildings by such outstanding contemporary architects as Frank Gehry, Tadao Ando, and Yoshio Taniguchi.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Basel." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Jul. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Basel." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 19, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/basel

"Basel." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved July 19, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/basel

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Basel

Basel (Bâle or Basle) City and river port on the River Rhine; capital of Basel-Stadt canton, nw Switzerland. Basel joined the Swiss Confederation in 1501. It is an economic, financial, and cultural centre. There is a cathedral, a 15th-century university, and a 16th-century town hall. It is the centre of the Swiss pharmaceutical industries. Other industries: publishing, silk, electrical engineering, metal goods. Pop. (2000) 166,009.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Basel." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Jul. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Basel." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 19, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/basel

"Basel." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved July 19, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/basel

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Basel

Baselbasil, bedazzle, dazzle, frazzle, razzle •damsel • razzle-dazzle • Basel •bezel, embezzle •Denzil •appraisal, hazel, nasal, phrasal •wych hazel •diesel, easel, teasel, weasel •chisel, drizzle, fizzle, frizzle, grizzle, mizzle, pizzle, sizzle, swizzle, twizzle •reprisal, revisal •nozzle, shemozzle •acausal, causal, clausal, menopausal, monocausal •arousal, carousal, espousal, spousal, tousle •disposal, proposal •accusal, bamboozle, foozle, ouzel, perusal, refusal •guzzle, muzzle, nuzzle, puzzle •mangel-wurzel

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Basel." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Jul. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Basel." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 19, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/basel

"Basel." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved July 19, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/basel

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.