Basel /ˈbɑːzəl/ or Basle /ˈbɑːl/ is Switzerland's third most populous city with 166,209 inhabitants. Being located where the Swiss, French and German borders meet, Basel also has suburbs in France and Germany. With 830,000 inhabitants in the tri-national metropolitan area as of 2004, Basel is Switzerland's second-largest urban area. Located in northwest Switzerland on the river Rhine, Basel functions as a major industrial centre for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry.
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city (after Berlin, Hamburg and Munich), and is the largest city both in the German Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants. It is one of the oldest cities in Germany, having been founded by the Romans in the year 38 BC. The name is derived from that of the Roman settlement, Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium.
The Holy Roman Empire was a union of territories in Central Europe during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period under a Holy Roman Emperor. The first emperor of the Holy Roman Empire was Otto I, crowned in 962. The last was Francis II, who abdicated and dissolved the Empire in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars. In a decree following the 1512 Diet of Cologne, the name was officially changed to Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation .
Hamburg is the second-largest city in Germany and the eleventh-largest city in the European Union. The city is home to approximately 1.8 million people, while the Hamburg Metropolitan Region has more than 4.3 million inhabitants. The port of Hamburg is the second-largest port in Europe, and the ninth largest in the world. Hamburg's official name is the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg .
Nuremberg is a city in the German state of Bavaria, in the administrative region of Middle Franconia. It is situated on the Pegnitz river and the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal and is Franconia's largest city. It is located about 170 kilometres north of Munich, at 49.27° N 11.5° E. The population (as of January 2006) is 500,132.