Basel is a city in northwestern Switzerland on the river Rhine. Situated at the Swiss-German-French tripoint. The name Basel emerges from the two seperate languages of the tripoint, because inhabitants of the city often don't understand each other; which is known as 'gebazel'. The Basel region culturally extends into German Baden-Württemberg and French Alsace. Basel was the seat of a Prince-Bishopric since the 11th century, and joined the Swiss Confederacy in 1501. Basel had been a commercial hub since the Renaissance, and it emerged as a centre for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry in the 20th century.