Published: 17.9.2009
Bern is a capital of Switzerland as well as Bern Canton at the same time. The town is situated on 40 metres high sandstone headland over Aare-river. Historical town has 130000 inhabitants but in town of Bern, including suburbs, there are living approx. 350000 persons altogether.

The town is attractive for visitors, first of all, with marvellous Alps panorama in hinterland, and also, thanks to its various history, with many places of interest. Bern is said to be a town, bringing a smile on his face. This Swiss metropolis is, with its building of Union Parliament, a Bernplace, from there the whole country is directed. Anyway, except of this, the inhabitants, living along banks of Aare-river, appreciate even their more relaxed way of life, prevailing here. Just Casanova let to be coddled in bath, and Anna Fedorovna, Russian Princess, established here romantic garden, and Lenin wrote diligently his philosophic works.


Nevertheless, all this went to past, as the students say. For them is more interesting a fact that in Bern is possible to have a swim in a river. Aare river flows through with great energy and takes its transparent waters from glaciers. So, this could be a reason why it could be interesting to inspect the town from water-level. On rocky headland, on high place over the river, a town Helvetiaplatz Bernwas established in 1191, which obtained rich privileges from Frederick of Hohenstauf Parentage. The town became wealthy on base of trade and from incomes which received from market customs. Anyway, Bern inhabitants were not proved as enthusiastic businessmen but, better to say, as good administrators and later also excellent politicians or talented urbanists. As an example, it could serve Martkstrasse (Market Street), being established in early Middle Ages in a width of 24 metres, and this corresponds to dimensions of actual highways. In 1353, Bern became as the eight Swiss Canton.

When in 1405, the fire destroyed nearly all the town, the builders started its reconstruction by construction of new houses from sandstone. This Middle Ages urbanistic plan is quite good visible even now. So, one hundred years later, the city centre houses were re-built from sandstone again, and wide streets with arcades (where you can walk, being protected against wet weather), became quite popular. The town of Bern got, just in Middle Ages, with its 6 kms long arboured walks, something special, and most of metropolis obtained it later, in 19th century, in a form of passages. So, Bern got its greatest bloom time period within 14-16th centuries.


ParliamentUniversityMunicipal Theatre  


A bell-tower with marvellous timepiece was constructed in city centre, in order the time indication could be followed. Even fountains helped to town´s beauty. Now, you can find in Bern more than 100 fountains. As a special jewels, there are taken for eleven fountains, decorated with allegoric figures, coming from 16th century. Together with ideals of French Revolution, also new spirit penetrated into Bern at the end of 18th century. The House of Parliament Squarepeople started to meet in caffees, and their attention was concentrated towards various town´s arrangements again. So, frontal facades adapted to French style, and all room-interiors were equipped with fine wall papers and stoffs. Nevertheless, the French did not brought fine way of life only (Bern was besieged by Napoleon troops for five years and state treasury was transferred to Paris). Anyway, the legend about Bern, as secret Swiss metropolis, could not damage these events.


In 1848, the town was officially elected as Union capital. Fifty years later, a building of Union Parliament was constructed. Since that time period, the fates of the country are managed from this building, great hall, not far distant from imposant Alps scenery. Bern is said to be like New York, but in Middle Age version only, as your orientation in all streets and squares is quite easy. Maritgasse is most beautiful street of Bern. Local house-line looks in so complete way, that you immediately distinguish that the builders followed carefully total impression. Nearby this street, Bearthere are to be found many sightseeings, including Einstein House, town hall, granary, bell-tower with timepiece and St.Lawrence monastery church, as most beutiful Gothic basilica in Switzerland, and many other places of interest. A speciality is Matte, former quarter of tanners, where you can find great number of small coffees and theatre scenes. Bern is also known with its cellar theatre. Nevertheless, most famous obtained local brown bears. They are kept here, just since 15th century, as a symbol of the town. According to the legend, the bear became the first animal, who was killed by Berchtold V. von Zahringen, the founder of the town. So, the town obtained its name just according to this animal. Bern celebrates always, when the young bears are presented to the town during Easter Monday. Paul Klee, famous painer, spent a part of his life in Bern. 

 Bern panorama



Text: Denisa Arvajová

Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Paranoid, TL, č.2, P ev, Aliman, č.2, upermutz,                       Ch-info.chCeCe 

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