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The town began as a Celtic fort sometime around 100 B.C.
People Born in Basel
Basel in People's Lives
Connie Talbot: I traveled here for a concert in 2009, at the age of eight.
Hermann Hesse: My family moved here in 1881, when I was four years old. I spent the younger years of my childhood here, before my parents moved back to my hometown of Calw in 1887, when I was 10. I was also briefly sent to a boy's school here in 1892, at the age of 15, following a series of mental institutions and such places that I had been shuffled about from since earlier in the year, when I had attempted to commit suicide. Within the year, I was sent to another school in Stuttgart. I returned to this city in late 1899, to accept a job at a prestigious antiquarian bookshop here. I was, at the time, 23 years old and beginning to publish bits and pieces of my work. I stayed with various literary and intellectual families here, a good influence for me. I continued to pursue publishing my work. In 1902, my mother died, and I was devastated. I could not even attend her funeral, I was so distraught. After publishing a moderately successful book in 1902, I was noticed by a local publisher, who published my first great novel - Peter Camenzind, in 1904. The book was an enormous success, and was very popular. From then on, I made my living solely off writing. I married my wife Maria in 1904, and went to live in Gaienhofen.
John Calvin: After being forced to flee from France for my humanist leanings and break with the Catholic church in 1534, I traveled to this city, which was known at the time to be more forward thinking and progressive. I remained here for two years, enjoying my religious freedom, and forming the first ideas that would later become the doctrine of Calvinism. I published my second book, Institutes of the Christian Religion, here in 1536, leaving shortly afterward for Ferrara, Italy. I returned briefly in 1538, with a co-pastor that I had been presiding over a church together with in Geneva for two years, until we were expelled from the city. While here, I was approached by a leading religious reformer, Martin Bucer, to lead a church in Strasbourg. It was a tempting offer, as Bucer was a hero of mine, and I had also always intended to end up in Strasbourg, not Switzerland. At first, however, I turned him down because my co-pastor had not been included in the offer. However, Bucer appealed to me again, and I also learned that my co-pastor had gotten an offer to lead another church in another location himself. I agreed, and traveled to Strasbourg.