Bern is one of 26 cantons in Switzerland and, along with Zurich and Vaud, is one of the larger cantons.
But Bern is also a city in the Switzerland. It lies at an altitude of 542 meters and its old observatory is the zero point of the Swiss national survey.
Bern is the federal capital of Switzerland and at the same time the seat of the federal government and the federal parliament, as well as the cantonal parliament and the cantonal government. What is really special is that the city of Bern has been included in the UNESCO register of “World Heritage of Humanity” (as the only Swiss city). The heraldic animal of the city of Bern is a bear, but whether the name of the city has anything to do with a bear has not been proven.
The city of Bern is an ideal starting point for a variety of beautiful and attractive excursions and short trips around the city and into the Bernese Oberland. And the city itself has a lot to show for its sights. The old town has remained largely intact. Originally, Bern was a settlement that was laid out in 1191 by the Zähringer duke Berchtold V. The city founder chose a sandstone spur that was surrounded on three sides by the river Aare and was thus naturally protected from attackers.
A city tour in the city of Bern is best started at the main train station. There is also a tourist office here, which can provide a variety of information material and friendly personal help. The station underpass has a few remains of the old oneTo have city wall and the Christoffelturm is preserved and worth seeing.
The route continues via the largest and best-known hospital complex in Switzerland, the Burgerspital, which is located to the west and not far from the train station.
The Heiliggeistkirche can be found a little further east of the main train station. This is one of the most important structures in Switzerland. A church in the typical Bernese late baroque style, which contains classical elements.
The main business district of Bern is formed by Spitalgasse and Marktgasse. The arcades are also known which are located on both sides of Spitalgasse and are around six kilometers long. A very large area that makes shopping an experience in any weather.
Other sights are the Bear Square and the Käfigturm. The latter comes from the late Renaissance. The Bundeshaus, the government and parliament building of Switzerland, is located at the southern end of Bärenplatz on Bundesplatz.
The second oldest building in Bern is the Zytglogenturm. Until 1250 it was the west gate of the city and originally a baroque defensive tower containing the famous astronomical music box.
The city also has a lot to offer culturally. Next to some museums such as the Kunstmuseum Bern, the Einstein House or the Swiss Alpine Museum, there are also theaters and a large number of festivals and events spread over the year.