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Basel (bäˈzəl) or Basle (bäl), Fr. Bâle, canton, N Switzerland, bordering on France and Germany. It is bounded in the N by the Rhine River (which becomes navigable in the canton) and in the S by the Jura Mts. Although it has industries, Basel is mainly a region of fertile fields, meadows, orchards, and forests. Its inhabitants are German-speaking and Protestant. The canton has been divided since 1833 into two independent half cantons— Basel-Land, 165 sq mi (427 sq km), generally comprising the rural districts, with its capital at Liestal, and Basel-Stadt, 14 sq mi (36 sq km), virtually coextensive with the city of Basel and its suburbs.

Divided by the Rhine, the city consists of Greater Basel (Grossbasel, left bank), which is the commercial and intellectual center, and Lesser Basel (Kleinbasel), where industry is concentrated. Basel is a major economic center and the chief rail junction and river port of Switzerland. It is also a financial center. The city is the seat of the Swiss chemical and pharmaceutical industry and of the Swiss Industries Fair; it also has an important publishing industry. Other products are machinery and silk textiles.

Founded by the Romans (and named Basilia), it became an episcopal see in the 7th cent. It passed successively to the Alemanni, the Franks, and to Transjurane Burgundy. In the 11th cent. it became a free imperial city and the residence of prince-bishops. The celebrated Council of Basel (see separate article) met there in the mid-15th cent. Basel joined the Swiss Confederation in 1501 and accepted the Reformation in 1523. Although expelled from the city, the bishops continued to rule the bishopric of Basel (including Porrentruy and Delémont, which in 1815 became part of Bern canton and in 1979 part of Jura canton). The oppressive rule of the city's patriciate over the rest of the canton led to revolts (1831–33) and the eventual split into two cantons.

One of the oldest intellectual centers of Europe, Basel has through its university (founded 1460 by Pius II) attracted leading artists, scholars, and teachers. It was the residence of Froben, Erasmus, Holbein the Younger, Calvin, Nietzsche, and the Bernoulli family. Jacob Burckhardt and Leonhard Euler were born there. Among the city's noted structures are the cathedral (consecrated 1019), in which Erasmus is buried; the medieval gates; several guild houses; the 16th-century town hall; the Kunstmuseum with a valuable collection of Holbein's works; and the Fondation Beyeler, a modern-art museum designed by Renzo Piano. The city has many other art galleries and museums. Basel's St. Johann neighborhood is the site of a number of buildings by such outstanding contemporary architects as Frank Gehry, Tadao Ando, and Yoshio Taniguchi.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a large packing measure for textile raw materials such as cotton, wool, and rags, in the shape of a four-sided prism or (less often) a cylinder. The material to be baled is compressed in mechanical and hydraulic presses to reduce the cost of transportation and to protect against dust and moisture. A bale of cotton 0.3–0.59 eu m in size weighs 120–220 kg. The bale is sheathed in packaging fabric and held together with wire hoops.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


(industrial engineering)
A large package of material, pressed tightly together, tied with rope, wire, or hoops and usually covered with wrapping.
The amount of material in a bale; sometimes used as a unit of measure, as 500 pounds (227 kilograms) of cotton in the United States.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. US 500 pounds of cotton
2. a group of turtles
3. Austral and NZ See wool bale
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
When used on the rear of a tractor, a bale spear is attached to the tractor's three-point hitch.
The Harris GS 7 Baler/Logger/Shear deployed by Morris Scrap Metal features a resulting bale size engineered to meet mill specifications of EAF steel mill melt shops.
The short response to the query is that "slinging" small, dusty "people bales" over head when loading a wagon--or stacking bales in poorly ventilated barn lofts or on moving wagons pulled behind pick-up balers--is hot, hard work.
One solution to robotic packaging of these bales is the use of a bale resizer.
In her language, Beilin sets up a contrast of genre between "Askew's text" and "Bale's framework," evidently dividing the parts of the work into the intrinsic (narrative) and the dispensable (apparatus).
Components of the new bale press, like cylinders, pumps, and motors, can be smaller than existing equipment, which should reduce the $300,000 initial cost typically required for the press.
Amoco Recycling, located at an Amoco Fabric & Fiber plant in Hazelhurst, Ga., converts bale wrap into profiles for fence posts (2-6 in.
Bale 8, Rodriguez 9 EXPERIENCE Bale has been around since he was 16 years of age and has a Champions League winner's medal to his name.
That's why Yanko likes to stick with the 60-inch bale size.
Bale's first move in translating Askew as a saint is to substitute for her body the text he has edited for his readers, to send forth her textual remains which bear witness to her newly sanctified status.
Pfeffer also says that a baler that offers "partial baler chamber penetration" can help to remove air space in the plastic material, which can help to improve bale density.
Meanwhile, the country produced 1.355 million bales of cotton up to Sept 1 of this season (2019-20), showed data released by the Pakistan Cotton Ginners' Association (PCGA) on Tuesday.