July 8, 2018
Basel is situated in the Rhine valley in the German-speaking north of Switzerland, adjacent the French and German borders. Basel is one of Switzerland’s most prosperous as well as most populous cities, and is counted among the cities with the highest standards of living in the world.
The city has been a commercial hub and an important cultural locale since the Renaissance, and has emerged as a centre for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry in the 20th century. The University of Basel is the country’s oldest, having been founded in 1460. Basel’s Kunstmuseum is the first collection of art accessible to the public in Europe (1661) and the largest museum of art in the whole of Switzerland.
Basel became the focal point of western Christendom during the 15th century Council of Basel. In 1459, Pope Pius II endowed the University of Basel, where notables as Erasmus of Rotterdam and Paracelsus later taught.
The craft of printing was introduced to Basel by apprentices of Johann Gutenberg. The first edition of John Calvin’s “Christianae religionis institutio” was published at Basel in March 1536. The Schwabe publishing house was founded in 1488 by Johannes Petri and is the oldest publishing house still in business.
The Bernoulli family, which included important 17th- and 18th-century mathematicians such as Jakob Bernoulli, Johann Bernoulli and Daniel Bernoulli, were from Basel. The 18th-century mathematician Leonhard Euler was born in Basel and studied under Johann Bernoulli.
Basel has often been the site of peace negotiations and other international meetings. The 1499 Treaty of Basel ended the Swabian War. 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 1897, Basel was chosen by Theodor Herzl as the location for the first World Zionist Congress, and altogether the congress has been held in Basel ten times over a time span of 50 years, more than in any other city in the world.
The Socialist 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.
(Narrative excerpted from Wikipedia)