Basel is Switzerland's third most populous city 731,000 inhabitants in the metropolitan area stretching across the immediate cantonal and national boundaries made Basel Switzerland's second‐largest urban area as of 2004.
Basel has a reputation as one of the most important cultural cities in Europe. In 1997, it contended to become the 'European Capital of Culture'. In May 2004, the fifth EJCF choir festival opened: this Basel tradition started in 1992. Host of this festival is the local Basel Boys Choir.