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Basel (in older English texts Basle, German Basel, French Bāle, Italian Basilea) is Switzerland's third most populous city and main industrial centre for the chemical and pharmaceutical sector, located in central northern Switzerland on the river Rhine. It is bordered by Germany and France (this region is also called "Regio TriRhena"), and has Switzerland's only cargo port, from which goods are transported along the navigable stretches of the Rhine.

Basel-Mulhouse International Airport, known as "Euroairport", is shared between Switzerland and France. The border runs through the airport terminal. An annual Swiss national trade fair (Mustermesse) takes place in Kleinbasel in the right bank of the Rhine.

Basel traces its history back to at least the days of the Roman settlement of Augusta Raurica[?]. Its position on the Rhine long emphasised its importance: Basel for many centuries possessed the only bridge over the river "between Lake Constance and the sea".

The Romanesque Minster, with its two (uneven) towers forms an architectural monument which survived Mediaeval earthquake. The tomb of Erasmus lies inside the Minster.

Basel also hosts Switzerland's oldest university[?], dating from the 15th century. Bernoulli, Euler and Nietzsche worked here.

Geo-politically, the city of Basel functions as the capital of the Swiss canton of Basel-City, though several of its suburbs form part of the canton of Basel-Country or of the canton of Argovia.



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