Basel is a city on the Rhine River in northwest Switzerland close to the borders with France and Germany. The official language of Basel is German although, with 35% of the inhabitants being foreign nationals, English is also widely spoken. The University of Basel, founded in 1460, is Switzerland's oldest university and it houses some of Erasmus’s works. Erasmus’s tomb is to be found in the city’s 12th century Romanesque-Gothic cathedral. There are almost 40 museums in Basel as well as many beautiful medieval buildings around the Marktplatz.
Basel is home to large pharmaceutical and chemical industries with companies such as Novartis, Syngenta, Ciba Specialty Chemicals, Hoffmann-La Roche, and Actelion being headquartered in the city. Like other Swiss cities, Basel is also a centre for banking and both the Bank for International Settlements and UBS are located in the city.
Famous people from Basel include: Roger Federer, champion tennis player and Ursula Andress, actress