Basel – one canton, three municipalities
The Canton of Basel-Stadt, established in 1833, is the most densely populated canton in Switzerland. It consists of the city of Basel, located at the so-called ‘knee’ of the River Rhine, and the two municipalities of Riehen and Bettingen both of which border Germany in the north-eastern part of the canton. What makes this a very special canton is the unique charm each of the three municipalities brings to the region.
Basel – little big town
With a population of about 198,000, the city of Basel is the canton’s social, economic, political and cultural centre. Located on the border triangle between Switzerland, France and Germany, the cultural openness of the city is a boon for the entire canton. More than any other Swiss canton, the diminutive metropolitan city of Basel successfully blends tradition and modernity. Despite its manageable size, Basel has everything one would expect from a metropolis - and more. With its old quarter, quaint districts and the riverside promenade along the Rhine, which separates the quarters of Grossbasel and Kleinbasel, the city offers an exceptionally high quality of life. Those wishing to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life are sure to find the peace and quiet they are after in the adjoining rural municipalities of Riehen and Bettingen.
Riehen – one big green village
Despite its population of almost 21,000, Riehen has managed to preserve its congenial village character, combining the benefits of a country lifestyle with a lively cultural scene, which features among others the internationally renowned Fondation Beyeler. In Riehen, compassion, health, integration and development are more than mere words; they are living values that have been recognised by UNICEF’s “Child Friendly Municipality Award” and the “European Energy Award in Gold”. Riehen considers these honours to be both a reward and an incentive to retain the town’s high quality of life. One of the outstanding landmarks highlighting this ambition is Wenkenpark, a park area lined with villas whose foundations date back to Roman times.
Bettingen – the village high above Basel
With a population of around 1,200, Bettingen is by far the smaller of the two countryside municipalities of the Canton of Basel-Stadt. Bettingen consists of two residential areas: "Dorf Bettingen", located in a vale surrounded by hills, and "St. Chrischona". Chrischona Church, which towers 522 metres above sea-level, is the reason why Bettingen is also affectionately referred to as Basel’s “mountain village”. Weather conditions allowing, the church even offers a view of the Alps. Visitors to Bettingen should not miss the opportunity to visit the St. Chrischona TV tower which, at a height of 250 metres, is both the tallest free-standing structure in Switzerland and the highest point of the Canton of Basel-Stadt.