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Emanating from the southeastern Swiss Alps, the mighty and meandering Rhine is one of the most important rivers, not just in Switzerland, but to surrounding countries as well. Voyaging through the center of the city of Basel, it adds to the charm of this old town by providing magnificent backdrops and a marine respite to this landlocked country. The High Rhine, which flows out of Lake Constance, cradles the celestial Rhine Falls, forming an otherworldly canvas of luminescence. Bridges like Vorderrhein, Hinterrhein and Alpenrhein loom over this robust, generous river, which is further ornamented by a melange of canals as it passes by forest-clad hills and lush carpets streaked in green. Today, many power-based industries are based upon the Upper Rhine. This river is much loved by its locals not just for the beauty and aesthetic pleasure it lends, but also because it is indeed a magnanimous source of life.
One of the local chemical giants, Hoffman-LaRoche has its base in one of the best spots, practically next to the Rhine. In between, however, you'll find Solitude Park. As you wander through the small park, you soon forget its surroundings, especially in the summer, when everything seems so green. The play area is not huge, but there is more than enough to keep the kids entertained. The Tinguely Museum, opened in 1996 and dedicated to the Swiss sculptor, is another of the park's attractions.
In 1980 Basel hosted a garden show with the not very imaginative title of Green 80. This name stuck in the public's imagination and was also applied to the botanical gardens. The original name comes from a homestead, the remains of which are still visible. The small nearby castle, which served as Christoph Merian's summer residence, is now a cafe. The huge area of the park is ideal for sports, and kids love the enormous dinosaur statue (affectionately known as Dino), who quietly lets everything pass over him.
Once an important part of the water system of the municipality of Seewen, Baslerweiher today, is a beautiful man-made pond known for its scenic beauty and surrounding nature reserve. Its dam was built in 1870 to supply water to Basel and the pond provided a regular water supply, independent of the rainfall in the area. Over the years, the pond has also helped in improving the fertility of the surrounding area and as a result, it is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. In the past, the water passed over several kilometers to Grellingen and on to the water tower in the Basel woods. From there, it was supplied to the houses of the city.