5 top highlights of the city of Bern

Highlights Bernese-Midlands

Bern, the capital of Switzerland, impresses with its well-preserved medieval old town, the Bern Minster, the Bundeshaus, the Zytglogge and the legendary Bear Park, which underline the city’s unique charm.

1. Old town of Bern – UNESCO World Heritage Site

Bern old town with cathedral

Bern old town with cathedral

In 1983, the Old Town of Bern was rightly inscribed on the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage List. This honor is an undeniable recognition of the inestimable value and irreplaceable importance that this historical jewel has for all of humanity.

Bern’s Old Town is a true gem that enchants visitors from all over the world with its rich history, architectural splendor and cultural heritage.

A stroll through the winding alleyways and past the picturesque squares of this UNESCO World Heritage Site is like a journey back in time.

2. Bern Minster

Bern Minster

Bern Minster

The Bern Minster with the highest church tower in Switzerland is one of the most important landmarks in the federal city. The 344-step climb to the viewing platform rewards visitors with a breathtaking panorama that stretches from the old town to the majestic mountain peaks of the Bernese Oberland. This impressive view makes the climb an unforgettable experience.

As a magnificent example of late Gothic architecture, Bern’s St. Vincent’s Cathedral rises majestically above the city and is considered one of the most impressive buildings in Bern. With its imposing appearance and its significance as the largest late medieval church in Switzerland, it attracts visitors from all over the world.

3. Federal Palace Bern

Bern was chosen as the federal capital in 1848. The Federal Palace is the epicenter of Swiss democracy. Parliament convenes under its imposing dome, while parts of the national government and the federal administration are housed in the west and east wings.

Federal Palace Bern

Federal Palace Bern

The spacious Federal Square and the extensive Federal Terrace act as lively meeting places for locals and visitors alike.

The Federal Palace in Bern, designed by architect H. Auer, was completed in 1902. It impresses with its unique architecture, in which the country’s limestone plays a dominant role. Other types of stone from Swiss quarries were also used, including marble, sandstone, gneiss, granite and serpentinite.

An astonishing 30 different types of stone from a total of 13 different cantons and half-cantons were used in the construction of the Bundeshaus. This diversity gives the building a fascinating aesthetic and creates a harmonious interplay of different colors, textures and structures.

Bern Zytglogge

Bern Zytglogge

4. Zytglogge

The Zytglogge, also known as the Zeitglocke or Zeitglockenturm, is a historic clock tower in the city of Bern. It dates back to the Middle Ages and is home to one of the oldest tower clocks in Switzerland.

The Zytglogge is one of the most visited attractions in Bern and was once part of the city wall in the early 13th century. The imposing bell, which was initially rung manually, was installed in 1405. The clock, on the other hand, is somewhat younger: the clockwork by the German armourer Kaspar Brunner was installed in the Zytglogge in 1530.

The mechanism of the Zytglogge consists of five integrated works housed within a common casing. It includes the clockwork, two striking mechanisms, and two mechanisms for animated figures. The clock hands are controlled by the hour axis of the clockwork and move across the two large 12-hour dials, as well as the impressive astrolabe clock. The Zytglogge is a fascinating testament to the clockmaking art of past centuries and a distinctive landmark of Bern.

One striking mechanism in the Zytglogge tower activates the hour strike in the top of the tower, while the other provides the quarter-hour strikes, which also sound in the top of the tower. The fascinating figurine games are located in the player’s bay below the large 12-hour display to the east, right next to the impressive astrolabe clock.

5. Bear Park

The BärenPark Bern is a modern animal enclosure that was opened in 2009 to house brown bears in a species-appropriate environment. It replaced the old bear pit, which no longer met the requirements of species-appropriate husbandry. The BärenPark is located in the Bärenpark district, opposite Bern’s old town, on the banks of the River Aare. It is part of the Bern Zoo, the main part of which, the Dählhölzli, stretches along the Aare about two kilometers to the southwest.

Bern BärenPark

Bern BärenPark

The BärenPark and the old bear pit are among the most famous sights in Bern and are closely associated with the bear as the heraldic animal of the city and canton of Bern.

The Bernese bears find an exclusive home in the BärenPark with a view of Bern’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The “Mutzen”, as the bears are affectionately known, live in an extensive park on the banks of the River Aare.

Video Top 10 Places to Visit in Bern | Switzerland – English

Bern is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Switzerland having many best places in Bern…

Top 10 Places to Visit in Bern | Switzerland - English

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