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Local News Summary of April, 15th

  • Police hunt after armed robbery at Basel pipe shop
  • «Burgenfreunde beider Basel» award castle prize
  • Former eyesore transformed by opening up the river Birsig

Police hunt after armed robbery at Basel pipe shop

The police are looking for two men who stole goods worth thousands of francs in an armed robbery in Basel on Friday evening.

According to early police investigations, the two men entered a pipe shop at Schützenmattstrasse just before it closed at 7pm. One of them threatened the shop keeper with a handgun and ordered him to place a number of high-value pipes, cigars, as well as the shop’s daily takings, into large blue bags.

The professional robbers fled with a haul of goods worth 100,000 Swiss francs into an unknown direction. According to the shop owner, the perpetrators were Asian.

An immediate police hunt for the robbers was unsuccessful.


1. Unknown man, 20-35 years old, between 170-175 cm tall, around 65 kg, slim and with an upright posture. He had black, mid-length hair, a confident manner and spoke broken German with an Asian accent. At the time, he was wearing blue jeans, a light t-shirt, and a dark jacket. He was carrying a handgun.

2. Unknown man, 25-35 years old, around 170-175 cm tall, middle stature, and mid-length hair. He was also wearing blue jeans, a light t-shirt, and a dark jacket.

Anyone with information about this robbery is asked to report to the criminal police of the prosecution of Basel-Stadt on the phone number 061 267 71 11 or at the nearest police station.

«Burgenfreunde beider Basel» award castle prize

The Basel area is rich in medieval castles and castle ruins. These historical witnesses, impressive or inconspicuous, are set in stone in the minds of the population and are important landmarks of the homely landscape and tourist attractions.

«Burgenfreunde beider Basel», an association of castle-lovers, aims to honour special efforts made for the upkeep of castles, research into castles and castle ruins, as well as informing public about them. Because of these efforts, the «Burgenfreunde beider Basel» has awarded a castle prize for the fourth time.

This year's award winner is Stephan Egloff, board member of the «Gesellschaft pro Wartenberg» for his «comprehensive, engaging, and exemplary effort» to preserve the three ruins at Wartenberg, and his close cooperation with the Baselland archaeological department.

A new generation of board members, under a new presidency, is conducting a multitude of works at Wartenberg. President Stephan Egloff pursues goals which include increasing the number of members to 1000. This enables the association to accomplish many goals, among them removing invasive plant species, preservation measures, establishing new fireplaces away from the walls in order to avoid fire damage, and developing and securing access to the three ruins. The latest and most recently completed project was to build a modern ramp so the castle ruin can be accessed through the Eastern gate – a long desired project.

Also important for the public awareness of history and the care of the old castle ruins are different information displays which provide details about the earlier appearance, history, and significance of the castle ruins. They were established by the archaeological department of Baselland and are a perfect sign for the good cooperation between the engagement of the «Gesellschaft pro Wartenberg» and the cantonal office.

Former eyesore transformed by opening up the river Birsig

The opening of the river Birsig has transformed the Lohweg underpass under the Heuwaage viaduct into a more open and beautiful place.

The underpass, between Steinen and Birsigstrasse, was a dark area of Basel and a real eyesore. But this has now been changed by the opening of the Birsig between the Munimattbrücke and the Aubrücke. The so-called nightingale forest between the zoo and Heuwaage has already been renovated and was officially re-opened by Basel construction director, Hans-Peter Wessels.

Now the construction machinery reached the Birsig car park in order to enhance flood protection for the channelled Birsig and to open it so the river can again be seen up to the Heuwaage viaduct. The «city stream» was broadened by two metres from the Rialto public pool and the riverbed was lowered in another flood protection measure.

A more open and bright underpass

The Lohweg underpass will not disappear for good but it will be more open and bright. Together with the re-opened river it could become a very attractive connection between areas of the city that were separated until now.

On Friday afternoon, the construction works were in full flow. The shape of the new bed of the Birsig is more and more visible. On the Birsig car park, only gravel can be seen, as it has become a car park for the construction machinery.

«The expanding network implements the network of the zoo; from a bird's eye perspective, the path network looks like the fur pattern of a giraffe», the city authorities write in a statement. For us on the ground, we can now see a few more metres of the open Birsig. The construction works should be finished by the end of the year.