Top sights Berne

Top sights Berne

Are you looking for the hottest sights in Berne? With MyCityHighlight – Sightseeing like a local – you'll find the top sights in Berne from the point of view of our local City Manager. You also have the opportunity to contact our city managers directly if you have any questions. Enjoy your trip with MyCityHighlight, your guide to the city of Berne.

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Bärenpark

Sights

The Bärenpark is the home of several brown bears and can be visited 24 hours a day.

According to legend, the city of Bern was named after the first hunted animal in the forest, a bear. The "most convincing proposition" in the present state of research, however, is rather the derivation of the name from the Celtic word berna, which occupies the "gap" or "slit" which the river Aare carved into landscape at this point.

The bear is present everywhere in Bern. A bear adorns the flag and the bear moat has long been a well-known attraction and landmark of the city. For reasons of animal welfare, the Bärengraben has been rebuilt into a revealing bear park in which the brown bears have access to the Aare. The large bear pit is still needed when the large enclosure is cleaned and the small ditch is open to the public.

It is situated right next to the Aare river, opposite the old town.

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Federal Palace (Bundeshaus)

Sights

The Federal Parliament is the seat of the Swiss parliament, i.e. the Federal Council, the National Council and the Council of States. The Bundeshaus is located in the federal capital Bern and is a symmetrical building. The Bundeshaus building is approx. 300 metres long and is listed as a historical monument.
The building is considered one of the most important historical buildings in the country. The Bundeshaus consists of three connected building complexes. The Bundesplatz is located in front of the Bundeshaus. There is a famous water play which runs in summer. On the square there is also a market on Tuesdays and Saturdays where vegetables, cheese, meat, flowers, fruit and fruit are offered. On the Bundesplatz there are also always various events like an ice rink in winter or the light theatre Rendez-vous Bundesplatz. On the other side of the Bundeshaus is the Bundesterrasse. From there you have a beautiful view over the Aare, the Marzili quarter and the Gurten, Bern's local mountain. In summer there are always a lot of people on the Bundesterrasse to linger, eat, play chess and much more.

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Zytglogge

Sights

After the founding of Bern in 1191, the Zytglogge (Clock tower) was built around 1220 after the 1st expansion of the city as a defense tower. The fortified tower simultaneously formed the city gate and thus the opening to the outside world. With the expansion of the city in the direction of the cage tower it moves more and more into the interior, becomes the prison, the high and fire watch and after the devastating fire of 1405 definitely the central clock tower, the Zytglogge.

The Clock Tower (Bernese German "Zytglogge") houses one of the oldest tower-clocks in Switzerland. The astronomical clock shows the seasons, the day, month, etc.

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Berner Münster

Sights

The foundation stone to the cathedral was laid in 1421. Previously, the Leutkirch had already stood here, a chapel built when the city was founded.
Pay attention to the main portal, the main entrance to the church: The 234 finely crafted sandstone figures of the Münster portal represent the "Last Judgment" and are world famous. In the middle with the sword stands Archangel Gabriel, messenger of God and decider about who goes to heaven and who (at first) goes to hell to hell.

The observation deck, which is located at 64 m, is open to the public.

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Käfigturm

Sights

The cage tower belonged to an old fortification of the city of Bern. After the second city expansion, the Käfigturm served as a city gate in the form of a tower. The tower, built between 1641 and 1644, replaced a dilapidated predecessor from 1256. Over the centuries, the building served as a defensive tower, Hochwacht. Only later did the Käfigturm serve as a prison or berndeutsch "cage". The Käfigturm in Bern also served as a state archive and information centre. Today the famous Käfigturm houses various exhibitions and events on political themes. If you walk down Marktgasse in the direction of the old town from the Käfigturm, you come to Bern's first city gate, the Zytglogge Tower. In its beginnings, the Käfigturm was still called Gloggnerstor. After the former prison in the clock tower burned down, the prisoners were moved to today's cage tower. The tower could be used now in such a way, since the city was extended up to the station. In former times there stood the third city gate, the Christoffel tower. In order to distinguish the tower from the women's prison at the Zeughaus, the tower was called the new Mannekefi (swiss german for men's prison). Shortly after the new cage tower was built, the cage tower was equipped with a mechanical clockwork. At the end of the 19th century, about 70 prisoners were transferred from the cage tower to the new district prison. Since then, the cage tower has been used for various purposes and has been constantly renovated. In 1980 the cage tower was completely renovated and became an information and exhibition centre in Bern.

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Town hall (Rathaus)

Sights

The town hall in the old town of Bern is the political centre of the city and canton of Bern. In this building, the canton's Grand Council meets for four annual sessions. When the parliament meets, the Bernese flag can be seen on the roof of the town hall. In addition to the Grand Council, the Town Hall also houses the seat of the cantonal government. Every Wednesday, the members of the government council meet in the government room for their regular meetings. The Bern City Council meets every Thursday in the Grossratssaal. The Bern City Hall was built between 1406 and 1415 in the late Gothic style, but was put into operation one year before its completion. The building was later subjected first to a neo-Gothic reconstruction and then to a further reconstruction by a socialist building director. The socialist ideas can still be seen from the building, especially in the various sculptures that were created especially for the town hall. The town hall escaped the bomb attack of a jurassic separatist in 1933. (the people of today's canton of Jura wanted to leave the canton of Bern). Today there are regular guided tours of the town hall.

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Teleferic Marzili

Sights

The teleferic Marzili connects the Federal Terrace with the Marzili quarter of Bern. Switzerland's shortest public funicular was opened on 18 July 1885. Today's Marzilibahn in Bern is powered by electricity. The two coaches that were discarded after electrification were moved to the Museum of Transport in Lucerne.

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Nydeggkirche

Sights

The reformed Nydegg Church is located at the bottom of Bern's Old Town, on the left side of the Nydegg Bridge. The Nydeggkirche is located in the oldest part of Bern. On the actual place of the church, was formerly the castle Nydegg with four towers. This was then built by the founder of Bern (Berchthold von Zähringen). 1341-1346, the castle was replaced by a church. 140 years later, the church tower was built.

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Erlacherhof

Sights

The Erlacherhof is historically and architecturally the most important private building in the city of Bern. The Stadtpalais is located at Junkerngasse 47 in the heart of Berne's old town. It was built in 1757 and is the only building with a courtyard facing the street. For the construction of the Erlacherhof, two houses had to make way, one of which once belonged to Adrian von Bubenberg (a famous Bernese school head). The building in downtown Bern was already used as a school building for the Mattequartier, as a French embassy and as the offices of the Federal Council. Today, the Erlacherhof is the meeting place of the municipal council of the city of Bern and is the seat of the mayor of Bern. The Court of Honour of the Erlachhof is unique in the Old Town of Bern. The courtyard is separated from the alley by a magnificent grid and was intended to be used for carriage journeys in the past.

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Zähringerbrunnen

Sights

The Zähringerbrunnen is located in the Kramgasse in the old town of Bern directly below the Zytglogge Tower. The Zähringerbrunnen was built in 1535. The current name of the fountain dates back to the 19th century. The name Zähringerbrunnen can be traced back to Berchtold V. von Zähringen, the founder of Berne. The fountain was previously called the Finstergässlibrunnen or Bärenbrunnen. The fountain figure is a standing bear with a helmet and two swords in his belt. The right paw holds a banner, the left a shield. Banner and shield show a golden lion on a red ground. It is a variant of the Zähringer coat of arms. Between the legs of the big one a bear cub devours a dove.

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Kindlifresserbrunnen

Sights

The fountain "Kindlifresserbrunnen" was built in 1545.
The fountain figure is eating a naked child and has a bag with other children.

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