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Basel, Switzerland

Basel, in northern Swizterland at the borders of France and Germany (the "Dreiländereck"), is Switzerland's oldest university city. The city is built around a small hill, the "Münsterhügel" (Minster hill), at the Rheinknie, the place where the Rhine turns from West to the North.

Early fifteenth-century Basel was a religious center, hosting a papal election and a reform council; later it was the home of Erasmus, who is buried in Basel's cathedral. In the sixteenth century, Basel was a center of Reformation theology; John Calvin took refuge in the city.

Basel's university was founded in 1460; Paracelsus was a famous early alumnus. Much later, in the nineteenth century, Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche taught at the the University of Basel.