Basiliskbrunnen Basel. Photo/Foto: TES.

The Basilisk of Basel

Basel is not only a city with hundreds of water wells and fountains, it is also a city of the Basilisk. The Basilisk is a mythological creature from ancient Greece, half cock, half snake. This creature could kill with its gaze and whoever followed in its footsteps scorched. The only protection was to hold up a mirror to this creature, so that it fell dead on the spot or to keep it out of the sunlight, the only time of day where its powers worked. These creatures can be found as holders of the city coat of arms and guardians of bridges and water wells. A remarkable appearance are the Basilisk fountains, which were made in 1884 by Wilhelm Bubeck (1851-1890). The city coat of arms in bronze and even a drinking trough at the foot of the base are the characteristics of this half cock, half snake. The water comes from the creature’s mouth. A total of 39 were made, today there are 28 left. They are scattered throughout the city, including along the banks of the Rhine. (Further information: