A short stop in Basel, Switzerland!

And another week is beginning, the routine, cloudy rainy cool spring day and they say more rain this week, hope they are wrong. Life goes on sad, but we are hanging in with lots of memories.

One of them was my short visit to Basel Switzerland. It was a business trip, and my dear late wife Martine as usual was all ready with the preparations and always eager for me to return home. Let me tell you a bit about Basel ,even if from me is not much to tell; it remains for the memories and maybe one day an in depth look.

My previous blog post on Basel is here: https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2013/10/24/basel-into-switzerland-a-short-stay/

Basel is in northwestern Switzerland on the river Rhine located where the Swiss, French and German borders meet, Basel also has suburbs in France and Germany.

A bit of early history I like

Basel has been the seat of a Prince-Bishopic since the 11C , and joined the Swiss Confederacy in 1501 as its eleventh canton . It was the only canton that had been asked to join, not the other way round. Basel had a strategic location, good relations with Strasbourg and Mulhouse, and control of the corn imports from Alsace, whereas the Swiss lands were becoming overpopulated and had few resources. A provision of the Charter accepting Basel required that in conflicts among the other cantons it was to stay neutral and offer its services for mediation.

The Duchy of Alemannia fell under Frankish rule in the 6C, and by the 7C, 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 7C.  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 870AD. The city was plundered and destroyed by a Magyar invasion of 917. The rebuilt city became part of  Upper Burgundy , and as such was incorporated into the Holy Roman Empire in 1032.  Since the donation by  Rudolph III of Burgundy of the Moutier-Grandval Abbey and all its possessions to Bishop Adalbero II in 999AD until the Reformation, Basel was ruled by a Prince -Bishops.

Basel has often been the site of peace negotiations and other international meetings. The Treaty of Basel (1499) ended the Swabian war .Two years later Basel joined the Swiss Confederation. The Peace of Basel in 1795 between the French Republic and Prussia and Spain ended the First Coalition against France during the French revolutionary wars. In more recent times, the World Zionist Organisation held its first congress in Basel in 1897, and for several years thereafter. Because of the Balkan Wars  the Socialist Second International  held an extraordinary congress at Basel in 1912. In 1989, the Basel Convention was opened for signature with the aim of preventing the export of Hazardous waste from wealthy to developing Nations for disposal.

How to get to Basel. Well you have the wonderful EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freigurg operated by France and Switzerland and for anecdote the airport is in French territory and how I came here. More on the airport here:  https://www.euroairport.com/en/

There are three train stations ,those of German, French ,and Swiss networks lie within the city.  The  Swiss Basel SBB , and French Bâle SNCF stations are actually in the same complex, separated by Customs and Immigration facilities. Basel Badischer Bahnhof is on the opposite side of the city. Basel is located on the A3 expressway ,and however, has an extensive public transportation network serving the city and connecting to surrounding suburbs, including a large tram network.

Basel Basel

Basel Basel

Things to see

The red sandstone Munster , one of the foremost late-Romanesque/early Gothic buildings in the Upper Rhine, was badly damaged in the great earthquake of 1356, rebuilt in the 14C and 15C, It was  extensively reconstructed in the mid-19C and further restored in the late 20C.  A memorial to Erasmus lies inside the Münster. The City Hall from the 16C is located on the Market Square and is decorated with fine murals on the outer walls and on the walls of the inner court. Several Churches and Museum that had no time to see them. Of course, I had to go see the market at markthalle nice displays.

Basel

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. The University of Basel founded in 1460, Switzerland’s oldest university and the city’s centuries long commitment to Humanism.

This is the pity other than the food and the train station and hotel had little time to see much of Basel. It will have to be another time. If you have been there feel free to post some interesting things to see; I would like to be back on a private visit.

Some webpages to help plan a trip to Basel are here

City of Basel tourist info in English: http://www.bs.ch/en/Portrait/tourism.html

Tourist office of Basel in English; https://www.basel.com/en

City life Basel http://basel.cityguide.ch/

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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