Kleinbasel and Grossbasel
26 January 2022
The city of Basel lies on both banks of the Rhine. Until 1392 there were even two Basels: Kleinbasel on the right bank and Grossbasel on the left bank.
Both Basels were cities in the Holy Roman Empire. Grossbasel was even a free imperial city (Reichsunmittelbarkeit). This status gave the city a high degree of autonomy, as it only had the Emperor above it.
The two Basels were closely connected economically. The bridge over the Rhine in 1225 led to ever-greater economic interdependence. In 1392 the two Basels were united.
Grossbasel was part of the prince-bishopric of Basel (archbishopric of Besançon). The diocese of Kleinbasel belonged to the diocese of Constance (archbishopric of Mainz).
This situation did not change by the amalgamation in 1392 but by the formal abolition of the Prince Bishopric of Basle in the French era (1798-1813).
From this time onwards, Kleinbasel belonged to the bishopric of Basel (and the seat in Solothurn today).