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Sunrise to Sunset in Basel

  • Story Highlights
  • Basel was a major town in the middle ages, a legacy of this is the pretty Old Town
  • A highlight of a stroll round the city is a trip to the Munster and Kunstmuseum
  • Outside of town is the 2,000 year-old Roman settlement of Augusta Raurica
  • The Hasenhorn toboggan run 25 miles east of Basel is also worth a trip
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(CNN) -- Perched on the River Rhine with Germany and France bordering it on either side, the Swiss city of Basel stands at a crossroads between the three countries.

Basel sits on the Rhine at the crossroads of three European countries.

Basel sits on the Rhine at the crossroads of three European countries.

In the past its location on the Rhine made it an important city, it is home to the oldest university in Switzerland and Europe's oldest government-rated five star hotel, the Hotel Drei Kronige.

A stroll around Basel's beautifully preserved Old Town taking in the Munster, its red sandstone gothic cathedral, will give the visitor a sense of the city's historical significance.

To delve even further into the area's past though, you need to go 12 miles east of Basel to the 2,000 year-old Roman settlement of Augusta Raurica, located on the south bank of the Rhine.

The oldest Roman colony on the Rhine, the site contains a well-preserved theater as well as the remains of a forum, amphitheater and aqueduct. At an open-air museum visitors can see a reconstruction of a Roman house and recreations of daily life from the period.

If after this you've had your fill of delving through dusty artefacts, it might be time to shake off the cobwebs with an adrenalin-charged toboggan ride.

At 1.8 miles long, Hasenhorn (located around 25 miles east of Basel) is the longest toboggan run in Germany and open all year round. After taking a chair lift up the mountain, buckle in for a heart-in-the-mouth ride of steep curves and white-knuckle loops.

For a more sedate leisure experience, you can head back to the city for a late afternoon art fix at the Kunstmuseum, on St Alban-Graben 16. Open daily from 10am -- 5pm, the museum has an impressive collection of works by Holbein, Picasso and Chagall inside. In the courtyard you'll find sculptures, the centerpiece of which is Rodin's famous "Burghers of Calais."

As night falls it's time to enjoy some food and drink in the convivial surroundings of the Fischerstube Microbrewery, Rheingasse 45, where the heady menu features beer on every course, including a beer-soaked dessert.

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