Basel is after Zurich and Geneva, the third largest city in Switzerland. The municipality is located at Basel triangle Switzerland / Germany / France and together with the villages Riehen and Bettingen the canton of Basel-Stadt, whose capital it is. While Basel itself has about 170,000 inhabitants live in the tri-national agglomeration of approximately 830,000 people.
Basel is divided into Grossbasel on the left (south) side of the Rhine and Kleinbasel (including the former fishing village Kleinhüningen) on the right bank. The center of Basel’s old town in the Grossbasel around the market – where the town hall (begun 1504) is – and towering over the Rhine Cathedral Hill with the Palatine -terrace. The Central Bridge connects the Old Town on both sides of the Rhine. In the partially exempt from the traffic center runs the tram.
Basel is a center of chemistry – and pharmaceutical industry. Thus, among other things, the two pharmaceutical companies Novartis and Hoffmann-La Roche Headquartered in Basel. Basel is a railway hub with one of the largest marshalling yards in neighboring Europe Muttenz. The cargo ports in the region of Basel, Switzerland, the only, on the Rhine is a connection to the North Sea. Lying on French territory airport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg is operated jointly with the French neighbors.
In the extreme north-west of Switzerland, the city lies on both sides of the Rhine. In addition to parts of the cantons of Schaffhausen and Zurich is Kleinbasel with the northern part of the canton of Basel-City to the only areas in Switzerland right of the Upper Rhine.
The changes in the Rhine city of Basel area – at the bend of the Rhine between the Jura and the spurs of the Black Forest – its flow direction from east to west to south-north. Here ends the section of the Rhine Upper Rhine and began the Upper Rhine. Just before this point on the southern bank of the Rhine, the higher flows Birs in the Upper Rhine, which the border to Canton Basel-Land forms, also derived from the Birs Canal St. Alban-pond water coming from the south leads into the Rhine. At the shallower northern shores stretch from major industrial areas from which the field will flow in the Upper Rhine. The city formative Rhine is from his mouth to the old town of Basel (historical Middle Rhine bridge) as international waters. These traffic rights given to Switzerland in 1868 by the Mannheim Convention.