Provided by: Basel Tourism
The city of Basel was first mentioned in writing in the year 374, when the Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus described how Emperor Valentinian I had set up camp in “Basilia” with his troops. At this time, the city was already several hundred years old. Its attractive location on the Rhine and the strategically important Münsterhügel (Cathedral Hill) first attracted the Celts to the bend in the Rhine in the Bronze Age, before the Romans subsequently made Basel an important trading centre. The next milestone in Basel’s history is 1226, with the construction of the Mittlere Brücke (the Middle Bridge), which soon became
a major hub for long-distance trade.
From the 16th century, Basel’s economic prosperity was associated
first with silk weaving and subsequently with dyeing. These two economic
mainstays later went on to evolve into the chemical and pharmaceutical
To this day, Basel functions as one of the most important logistics hubs for the economy of the country as a whole: thanks to the Schweizerische Rheinhäfen (Port of Switzerland), Basel connects Switzerland with the sea, the EuroAirport is vital for the region’s import and export trade, and the SBB, Badischer Bahnhof and Basel SNCF railway stations are major European hubs for both freight and