Basel in the spotlight: the city that learned to love LSD

Photo of Basel in the spotlight: the city that learned to love LSD
Facebook
VKontakte
share_fav

‘Bicycle Day’ on 19 April is the 75th anniversary of the day Albert Hofmann accidentally discovered LSD, changing his perceptions – and the city’s future

Seventy-five years ago, the Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann experienced the world’s first full-blown LSD trip on his way home from his lab in Basel. Hofmann had been researching the ergot fungus, hoping to develop a drug to treat fatigue. Among the compounds he was analysing was lysergic acid – Lysergsäure-Diethylamid in German, also known as LSD. On Friday 16 April 1943, Hofmann left the lab feeling a little dizzy: “I lay down and had these wonderful dreams – I saw every thought as an image,” he said in an interview for his 100th birthday. The chemist concluded that he had accidentally touched the substance, and was intrigued by its powerful effect.

Three days later, on 19 April, he returned to the lab and swallowed a tiny amount just to see what would happen: “As it later turned out, it was five times too much and gave me a horror trip.” He asked an assistant to take him home by bicycle, and Basel transformed into a panorama of hellish and heavenly visions. The bike seemed to freeze to the spot; a friendly neighbour turned into an evil witch. Hours later, Hofmann felt wonderful. “LSD called me, I didn’t seek it out,” he recalled. “It came to me.”

Continue reading...
view The Guardian: World News
#switzerland
#chemistry
#drugs
#world news
#europe
#science
#cities