Capital of Switzerland
Bern, or Berne to the French, is the capital of Switzerland. The whole city is crammed into a peninsula extending over the fast-flowing waters of River Aare with hills and wooded areas all around, creating a very charming picture of a city that has undergone barely any changes since its founding over five hundred years ago. In the historic Old Town of the capital of Switzerland, you can still find medieval streets complete with arcades, street fountains, and towers. And in the background, you can see clusters of roofs and the snow-capped peaks of the majestic Alps in the distance.
As the capital of Switzerland, Bern is home to the Swiss Parliament as well as several significant government buildings. Yet, despite its political status, the capital of Switzerland is far from a cold and logical city for professionals. There are many things to see and do in this tiny city of barely 13,000 people.
The Old Town
One of the most immediately charming sights in the most immediately charming city in Switzerland is the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Old Town. Upon entering the medieval streets of this part of the capital of Switzerland, you will realize how closely married the city is to its distant past. Few cities in the world manage to accomplish this. The Old Town’s street plan and architecture remains essentially unchanged since medieval times.
Traffic is kept out of this part of Bern, so you can wander unhampered by speeding trams and trucks that are usual sights in the rest of the city. Curiously enough, if you wander under the crowded arcades, you will experience the full-on cosmopolitan vibe of the nation’s capital with modern music blaring from radios and adverts posted everywhere. However, if you step off the sidewalk and away from the crowd, it is not hard at all to imagine yourself back in Bern during the Middle Ages.
Towering over Bern’s Old Town is the Munster, a cathedral of late Gothic architecture. Its feathery spire is considered the highest in the country and its sonorous bells often dominate the capital of Switzerland.
Outside the cathedral itself is the Munsterplaz, a cobbled walkway featuring imposing facades of the Baroque style, as well as other buildings, a chapterhouse and a fountain with a statue of Moses, dating back to 1790.
On the south side of the Kirchenfeldbrucke is a cluster of museums basically surrounding the Helvetiaplatz. The museum, such as the Bernisches Historisches Museum, features a fascinating display of relics that allow you to trace the history of the capital of Switzerland as well as of the country itself. There are many diverse bits and pieces put on display for your perusal with very good information.