Basel is a city in northwestern Switzerland on the river Rhine. Basel is Switzerland’s third-most populous city with about 180,000 inhabitants. The official language of Basel is German, but the main spoken language is the local variant of the Alemannic Swiss German dialect.
Basel has been the seat of a bishop since the 4th century and became a free imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire in 1491. The city state was then part of the German Confederation from 1815–1866. In 1833, Basel joined the Swiss Confederacy, becoming one of its 26 cantons. As a federal city, Basel has been the home of numerous international organizations, including the Bank for International Settlements.
In 2019, Basel was ranked among the ten most liveable cities in the world by Mercer together with Zurich and Geneva. In 2020, Basel was ranked as the world’s fourth-most expensive city to live in by The Economist Intelligence Unit.
Basel has been the birthplace or home of a number of notable people, including Paracelsus, Erasmus of Rotterdam, Niklaus Manuel, Johannes Kepler, Jacob Burckhardt and Friedrich Nietzsche.