Basel - Switzerland

Basel (Basle) is in northern Switzerland. It lies along the Rhine, at the mouths of the Birs and Wiese rivers, where the French, German, and Swiss borders meet, at the gateway to the Swiss Rhineland. The city divides into two parts Kleinbasel (industrial section to the north) and Grossbasel (the older commercial and cultural centre on the south bank). The south bank is dominated by the Romanesque and Gothic-style Munster, consecrated in 1019, it was Basel's protestant cathedral until 1528 and has a monumental slab to Erasmus, who is entombed there. Other notable buildings include the late Gothic Rathaus, or town hall (1504-21), the Church of St. Martin, the oldest religious foundation in Basel and the former 14th-century Franciscan church, now housing the historical museum. There are three surviving medieval city gates, of which the 15th-century Spalentor (St. Paul's Gate) is one of the finest in Europe. Also you will find the museum of fine arts showing paintings of Picasso, Dali, Kandinsky and Mondrian. Originally a Celtic settlement of the Rauraci tribe, the name Basilia applied to a Roman fortification mentioned in AD 374. At the beginning of the 5th century, the bishop of Augusta Raurica moved his see there. The city's university, the first in Switzerland, was founded in 1460 by Pope Pius II, who had been in Basel for the celebrated Ecumenical Council (1431-49). In 1501 Basel was admitted into the Swiss Confederation. With the Dutch scholar Desiderius Erasmus teaching at the university (1521-29), the city became a centre of humanism and of the Protestant Reformation in Switzerland. There are more than 30 cruises calling at this port. Click the month or cruise line logo you are interested in to see details of the cruises.