The restaurant with the legendary ‘Lällekönig’ is awakening to new life.

The Alchemist moves in and with him a fascinating aura with elements form laboratory and pharmacy-

In fact there was once a pharmacy in the building.

Hubersche Pharmacy, Eisengasse, Schifflände, between 1894 and 1902

Lällenkönig nach dem Entwurf von Rosa Bratteler

The ‘Lällekönig’ is a huge head made of painted copper sheet with a crown. The original was attached to the Rheintor right at the middle bridge. He stucl out its tongue to the newcomers coming from the ‘Kleinbasel’ (‘Small basel’). He had a mechanism that made him roll his eyes four times a minute and stick his tongue out, which is what gave it its name: ‘Lälli’ is the basel word for tongue.

The mechanism was origninally driven by the clockwork of the tower, later the king recieved its own drive. Over the time, the ‘Lällekönig’ became something of a city landmark.

Alchemy is the name given to the theory of the properties of substances and their reactions from the 1st and 2nd century. It is an old branch of natural philosophy and was conceptually separated from modern chemistry and pharmacology in the course of the 17th and 18th centruries and eventually replaced by there subjects. It is often assumed that the production of gold (gold synthesis) was the only goal of the alchemists. The spectrum of alchemists, however, ranges from practical early chemists, gunpowder manufacturers and pharmacists, to early ideas about the structure of material. It incluced the transmutation of metals and other elements of minerals or salts, to highly mythical speculations with ideas about a similar transformation from the adept, who in recent times have found the interest of the depth psychologist Carl Gutav Jung, to the ‘goldmakers’

The Alchemist (1558) copper engraving by Philipp Galle

The ambience is a veritable curiosity cabinet. Mysterious, atmospheric. Dark, patinated, surfaces, warm colours and individual light spots of brass, gold and copper dominate.
The restaurant includes a café, bar, lounge and an open kitchen. In the basement there is a laboratory and production workshop, which can be rented for events and meetings. The alchemist is a place where the joy of experimentation, pleasure and well-being come together.

Art forms of nature- art forms from the sea

by Ernst Haeckel

Ernst Haeckel 1860

Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919) was not only a doctor, biologist and naturalist, but also an artist and philosopher- He dedicated his entire life and work to the exploration of the flora and fauna from the highest mountain peaks to the deepest oceans of the world. As a passionate advocate and developer of Darwin’s theories, whom he met personally several times during his life, he wrote philosophical treatises, received his doctorate in zoology and coined scientific terms that still characterize today’s everyday language (examples of this would be the terms ecology and stem cell).

Logo Alchemist

Our logo is based on the geometric shape of the transmutation circle. The Philosopher’s stone (lapis) became a symbol.


Transmutation is the transformation of one chemical element into another. The historical alchemists referred to the desired transformation of base metals into gold or silver, for example with a wise man’s stone.