Berne, the is the Swiss capital and capital of the canton of the same name, boasts an impressive UNESCO-listed medieval old town - which is primarily responsible for my small-time love affair with Berne and it now ranks as of my favorite cities in Switzerland. Nestled on a peninsula of the River Aare, the Old Town is an absolute delight to spend several hours walking around.
The Berner Münster is the largest gothic building in Switzerland with a 100 meter tower. Entry to the cathedral is free, but for a few francs you can climb the tower for fantastic views of the old town. IMO, the views from the top of spire is worth every franc and every step up and down.
The Berne Old Town (Altstadt) is a UNESCO listed gem and is remarkably well preserved. The cobbled streets of the medieval old town, perched on a pensinsular in Aare river, and the arcaded a pleasure to simply stroll through and do a spot of shopping (including undestreet shops) in what is supposed to be the worlds longest collection of arcaded shopping and is a joy to walk around.
Albert Einsteins House in Kramgasse is of historic importance as this is where Albert Einstein wrote his most famous equation E = mc2 and his Special Theory of Relativity. Einsteins Annus Mirabilis, 1905, saw five revolutionary papers written as follows:
The Clock Tower (Zytglogge) dates from 12th / 13th Century (1191 - 1256) marks the boundry of the citys first expansion and the main entrance to the Old Town from the station side. The impressive astronomical clock on the exterior masks the towers previous varied uses as a guard tower and prison.
The Swiss Federal Parliament is based in Berne - in its capacity as the Swiss capital. The Parliament building, also known as the Federal Palace, was built to the designs of the architect H. Auer and inaugurated in 1902. The two houses which form parliament sit in seperate chambers which meet in the "Hall of the Dome" which is decorated by various symbols of Switzerland. The glass dome, for example, is decorated with the coats of arms of 22 Cantons while the Coats of Arms of Jura is shown seperately along with the date of the cantons accession to the Union (1978). Guided tours of the Parliament building are available when Parliament is not sitting.
Bear pits - the bear is the symbol of Berne and bears are kept in the pits - albeit controversially amongst the opinions of m'colleagues.
Berne - recommended restaurants - Recommended places to eat and drink in the Swiss capital city Berne
Berne Münster (Cathedral) - a brief history - A brief history of the Cathedral in the UNESCO-protected old town of Berne
Switzerland - sacred destinations - Nine of the finest churchs, cathedrals and monastries in Switzerland
Switzerland - recommended hotels - Recommended hotels in Berne, Fribourg, Lugano, Neuchâtel and Rapperswil
Burgdorf - a brief history - A brief history of Burgdorf
Switzerland - places not to miss - Sixteen places not to miss around Switzerland
Switzerland - Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau - The Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau seen from Bergrestaurant Harder Kulm
Fribourg - Cathedral of Saint Nicholas - Notes on Cathedral of Saint Nicholas, Fribourg
Fribourg - The bells of the Cathedral of Saint Nicholas - The names of the bells of the Cathedral of Saint Nicholas, Fribourg
Solothurn - the Cathedral sitting over old town of Solothurn - View of the Cathedral and Solothurner Altstadt sitting over the River Aare
Mark Sukhija is a travel and wine blogger, photographer, tourism researcher, hat-touting, white-shirt-wearing, New Zealand fantatic and eclipse chaser. Aside from at least annual visits to New Zealand, Mark has seen eclipses in South Australia (2002), Libya (2006), China (2009) and Queensland (2012). After twelve years in Switzerland, Mark moved back to London in 2012. You can follow Mark on Twitter or Facebook