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Castle romanticism in the Basel area (3): Pfeffingen

Castle romanticism in the Basel area (3): Pfeffingen

Not only are the ruins of Pfeffingen castle the largest of their kind in Basel,but,  towering on the Blauen spur, they are also a feast for the eyes. By Nicole J. Bettlé Coming from the north, just before you reach the ruins of Pfeffingen castle When it became too dangerous for visitors, the ruins of Pfeffingen castle were closed to the public – now they are open for free visits again. Since 2013, with a budget of around CHF 7m, they have been comprehensively renovated. Finally, in the middle of August 2017, the works came to a close. At last

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Leave a Comment   |  29/11/2017 Society, Uncategorized

Castle romanticism in the Basel area (2): Landskron

Castle romanticism in the Basel area (2): Landskron

The history of the ruin of the Landskron castle in the French Leymen valley almost reads like a historical thriller – even a troop of monkeys once roamed these ruins. By Nicole J. Bettlé The Landskron castle Situated along today’s border between France and Switzerland, the Landskron was a disputed object between major ruling powers right from its construction. Even Emperor Maximilian I and Napoleon Bonaparte, two of the most eminent rulers of European history, set their foot on the castle hill between Leymen and Flüh (canton of Solothurn). However, it was not just them and many other aristocratic families

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Comments Off   |  06/11/2017 Society, Uncategorized

Castle romanticism in the Basel area (1): Wartenberg

Castle romanticism in the Basel area (1): Wartenberg

The Basel area is one of the richest in Europe when it comes to castles. More than a hundred castles and forts sprang up between the 11th and the 14th century. Visiting the Wartenberg is particularly recommended. In total, three castles invite you to look and linger in the area. The Wartenberg castles (from left to right): the towers of the rear and the middle castle – and one of the remaining walls of the front castle. By Nicole J. Bettlé The Wartenberg in Muttenz has always been – and still is – an important viewpoint. Archaeological findings prove that

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Comments Off   |  18/09/2017 Society, Uncategorized

Ghosthunting in Basel’s backstreets

Ghosthunting in Basel’s backstreets

If you thought that ghosts only haunt Victorian houses or castles in the United Kingdom, you are in for a surprise. For centuries ghosts have also haunted the streets and houses of Basel. By Nicole J. Bettlé Whether at Heuberg, at Heuwaage or in the cloisters of the Minster: ghosts and undead are lurking everywhere in Basel. Visit Basel (website in German only) with its team of guides offers a “Ghost Walk” through Basel’s old town – for expats also in English. Horror fans will be delighted. Totengässlein (The Deads’ Alley) – quirky but inconspicuous by day, haunted at night

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Comments Off   |  28/01/2017 Society, Uncategorized

Basel and Basilisks – a quite particular relationship

Basel and Basilisks – a quite particular relationship

Basel’s residents are proud of their heraldic animal, the basilisk. Wherever you are, wherever you look, you are bound to meet this creature. Residing on fountains or bridge piers, it keeps watch over the city. By Nicole J. Bettlé At Totentanz you find Basel’s oldest basilisk fountain According to legend, the basilisk once lived in a cave where today the Gerberbrunnen (the tanner’s fountain) is situated at Gerberberglein. An inscription tells about this legend. By the way, a basilisk is not to be mistaken with a dragon or a lindworm, the latter of which are almost harmless compared to it.

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1 Comment   |  16/01/2017 Society, Uncategorized

The POTUS elections reach out to Basel

The POTUS elections reach out to Basel

The USA are gearing up to vote for their next president, the 44th person to hold office since 1789. There have been three heated and divisive TV debates, weeks of mudslinging and endless media coverage. There is no certain outcome to one of the most controversial election runoffs in American history. By Lya Pfäffli With 26,672 US-Americans registered as living in Switzerland in 2013, the US expats in Basel are no less involved in the presidential election despite being thousands of kilometres from their homeland. After all, no matter how long they have been away, they are still entitled to

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Comments Off   |  26/10/2016 Society, Uncategorized

Basel’s link to the Church of England

Basel’s link to the Church of England

Over a period of 600 years, Basel and the church in England influenced each other, as Ettingen resident Bryan Stone, originally born in England, shows in his book «Basel and the Church in England» – an English-language contribution to Basel’s Erasmus Year Team TBJ This year Basel is commemorating an immigrant, one of its most famous expats, actually. In this very city in 1516, Erasmus of Rotterdam published a critical edition of the New Testament, in its original ancient Greek text version; the book had been printed by his close friend, book printer and publisher Johann Froben. Thus the renowned

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Comments Off   |  06/07/2016 Society, Uncategorized

Basel’s police celebrate – „We’ll keep on trying”

Basel’s police celebrate – „We’ll keep on trying”

This spring the police of canton Basel-Stadt will be 200 years old – and during the celebrations the British rock band Queen will also play a small role. By Shirley L. Kearney With the passing of a directive by the Basel city parliament on 21June 1816, the foundation was laid to establish a police corps. With one officer and 21 men, it went into business in 1817. The size of the group remained as such until 1833 when the separation of Baselland from Basel city occurred. Until then, in order to visit the countryside, the office needed to rent a

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Comments Off   |  04/03/2016 Society, Uncategorized

Cakes and Women’s Rights

Cakes and Women’s Rights

Supporting charitable organisations with baked goodies: the International Women’s Institute Basel is collecting for good causes, and has already been quite successful. By Isabelle Wanner If anybody mentions the words “cake” or “cookies”, only very few will think of charity organisations. What rather springs to mind are sugar, butter and chocolate that, mixed together, will deliciously melt on your tongue. However, not only can baked goodies create moments of sheer bliss, they can also bring in money. This was what the International Women’s Institute Basel (IWIB) had in mind when organising baking competitions. Last year there were three of them;

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Comments Off   |  29/02/2016 Society, Uncategorized

A Little More than “Sprechen Sie Englisch?”

A Little More than “Sprechen Sie Englisch?”

In 2014, the people of Basel ordered change: they voted for the government to help newly-arrived expats feel welcome.  As an expat myself, I was pleased to hear this, but not everyone – locals or foreigners – supports these attempts. By Ella Revitt With Switzerland ranked sixth in the world for the largest proportion of the population born abroad, 35% of those living in Basel are non-nationals. The overarching group of foreigners include refugees and asylum seekers, blue-collar workers (once known as “Gastarbeiter”) as well as white-collar business professional “expats.”  Amalgamation for the latter has been difficult in recent years

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Comments Off   |  20/02/2016 Society, Uncategorized
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