August 24, 2011
The year 1348 marked the start of a very difficult period for Basel: half the population perished in the plague, and in 1356 a massive earthquake destroyed large parts of the city. However, the city was successfully rebuilt, and in 1392 the Bishop acquired Kleinbasel on the other side of the Rhine. During the Council of Basel in the years 1431–49, the city became the spiritual centre of the Christian Church. In 1460 Pope Pius II established the first university north of the Alps in Basel. It attracted humanists such as Erasmus von Rotterdam to Basel. Bookprinting was introduced. In 1471 Emperor Friedrich III granted the city the right to hold fairs – a very important development for the future of Basel.