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Basel is the third most-populated city in Switzerland, located on the northern border of the country on the River Rhine. Due to its proximity with the borders of France and Germany, some of its suburbs are in these countries, making it a notable multi-cultural and multi-lingual blend.

The town began as a Celtic fort sometime around 100 B.C.

People Born in Basel

coming soon

Basel in People's Lives

Connie Talbot: I traveled here for a concert in 2009, at the age of eight.

Hermann Hesse: My family moved here in 1881, when I was four years old. I spent the younger years of my childhood here, before my parents moved back to my hometown of Calw in 1887, when I was 10. I was also briefly sent to a boy's school here in 1892, at the age of 15, following a series of mental institutions and such places that I had been shuffled about from since earlier in the year, when I had attempted to commit suicide. Within the year, I was sent to another school in Stuttgart. I returned to this city in late 1899, to accept a job at a prestigious antiquarian bookshop here. I was, at the time, 23 years old and beginning to publish bits and pieces of my work. I stayed with various literary and intellectual families here, a good influence for me. I continued to pursue publishing my work. In 1902, my mother died, and I was devastated. I could not even attend her funeral, I was so distraught. After publishing a moderately successful book in 1902, I was noticed by a local publisher, who published my first great novel - Peter Camenzind, in 1904. The book was an enormous success, and was very popular. From then on, I made my living solely off writing. I married my wife Maria in 1904, and went to live in Gaienhofen.

John Calvin: After being forced to flee from France for my humanist leanings and break with the Catholic church in 1534, I traveled to this city, which was known at the time to be more forward thinking and progressive. I remained here for two years, enjoying my religious freedom, and forming the first ideas that would later become the doctrine of Calvinism. I published my second book, Institutes of the Christian Religion, here in 1536, leaving shortly afterward for Ferrara, Italy. I returned briefly in 1538, with a co-pastor that I had been presiding over a church together with in Geneva for two years, until we were expelled from the city. While here, I was approached by a leading religious reformer, Martin Bucer, to lead a church in Strasbourg. It was a tempting offer, as Bucer was a hero of mine, and I had also always intended to end up in Strasbourg, not Switzerland. At first, however, I turned him down because my co-pastor had not been included in the offer. However, Bucer appealed to me again, and I also learned that my co-pastor had gotten an offer to lead another church in another location himself. I agreed, and traveled to Strasbourg.

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