How the pharma industry grew out of the textile trade, commoners seized power from the aristocracy, and how Basel became a city of culture.
Historians have tried to define what has shaped the northern Swiss city of Basel in a new book that takes the reader on a journey through the centuries. ‘Leaps in Time’ was inspired by an exhibition at the city’s Historical Museum in 2019, marking its 125th anniversary. From the first settlement at the time of the Celts, it grew into Switzerland’s third most populous city. It’s sometimes referred to as the cultural capital and is known for its many museums, its art collections, and its annual carnival parade, which is included on UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.The presence of printing presses and the founding of a university in the Middle Ages attracted famous writers and reformers. Basel played an important role as a trading city on the Rhine. Textile industries developed into chemical and pharmaceutical giants over the centuries. The city underwent political upheavals. ‘Leaps in Time’ charts how the secular and spiritual rule of the bishops was ended by powerful tradesmen. A co-author of the book, Gudrun Piller, explains why these moments in Basel’s past made it the place it is today.