Basel is the capital of Basel-Stadt and is Switzerland's third most populous city.
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Located in north-west Switzerland
on the river Rhine
functions as a major industrial centre for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry.
The city borders both Germany
and has Switzerland's
only cargo port, through which goods pass along the navigable stretches of the Rhine
The Swiss chemical industry operates largely from Basel
, with Novartis
and Hoffmann-La Roche
headquartered there. Pharmaceuticals and specialty chemicals have become the modern focus of the city's industrial production.
Numerous major Swiss banks maintain central offices in Basel
, giving finance a pivotal role in the local economy. The importance of banking began when the Bank for International Settlements
located within the city in 1930. The Romanesque Munster
, with its two (uneven) towers forms an architectural monument which survived medieval earthquake. The Tomb of Erasmus
lies inside the Munster
also has Switzerland's tallest building, Basler Messeturm
hosts Switzerland's oldest university, the University of Basel
, dating from 1459. Erasmus
, Daniel Bernoulli
, Leonhard Euler
and Friedrich Nietzsche
worked here. More recently, its work in tropical medicine has gained prominence.