April 8, 2005
The first version was built in 1226. Half of the bridge was made of wood and half of stone (the stone half is on the side of the bigger part of Basel). Later, it became quite important, as it was one of the few ways to cross the Rhine and was on a different trade route.
The smaller Basel part was actually built as a "bridge head" to protect the important bridge against attacks from Germany. Up until today, that bridge would be an important defense point, and as far as I know, there are still explosives built into it, just in case.
In 1905, the bridge as it stands today was built. The Käppeli (chapel) in the middle reminds us of the old bridge.
As one might notice, the bridge is quite clean. The stone it was made of had to be washed. That is also quite a story. On one April 1, a radio station made a joke, saying that the government has decided to paint the Middle Bridge white. That made quite an uproar (for nothing, since it was only a joke). But because they really did paint part of the bridge white in the night, they had to clean it off - and realized that this was not so easy. In the end, that piece looked a lot different from the rest, so they were forced to clean the whole bridge.
From journal Basel - city at the border of three countries