Till the 19th century, Basel was surrounded by a wall. Entrance and exit were
controlled at the gates. One of those was also located at Basel's only bridge at
the time. The Rhine Gate on the Grossbasel side regulated the traffic across
the river. Affixed to it was the so-called Lällenkönig (Tongue King), greeting
with stuck-out tongue everyone coming into Grossbasel over the bridge. It
is first mentioned in 1658, was removed in 1839 when the bridge gate was
demolished and later made an emblem of the city.
Basel Lällenkönig from the former Rhine Gateperhaps Daniel Neuberger the Younger (c. 1620–1674/1681)Basel, c. 1640, first attested 1658copper, paintedold inventoryInv. 1870.1262.