Another road trip took us to Bern, the capitol city of Bernese Oberland (Bernese Highlands), and also capitol of Switzerland. The old town is part of the UNESCO World Heritage.
We didn’t walk much time because of the bad weather. We walked around the main streets of the old town and the cathedral, the Parliament square and Einstein’s house. But we wished we could have more time to know the city better.
We began our route at the tourism office, where we picked some maps and asked for some advice for a short visit. As you go outside of the building you’ll see the old bear pit, which is empty since the animals were taken to the Bear Park, in order to give them more freedom. The bear is the symbol and the coat of arms of the Bernese Oberland region.
We headed to the main street of the old town, the Kramgasse. The main points of interest of Bern gather in both sides of it. This street is covered by porchs on the sides and the shops, cafes and statues go one after another until you see the Clock Tower, which was the first west gate of the city back in 1200. It has a very sophisticated clock which also serves as astronomic calendar and carillon, and it was built in 1530. This tower was the main clock in the city.
The Federal Palace is the seat of the Parliament, and the present three building complex was finished in 1902. It’s the seat of the Swiss Government (Federal Council) and of the Parliament (National Council and State Council).
The Cathedral of Bern (Berner Münster) is the biggest religious building in Switzerland. It was built from 1421 to 1893. There are 344 steps from the bottom to the top of the tower and the tower balcony is 100 m. high. You can admire a representation of the Final Judgement at the gate.
The day was very rainy, so we decided not to climb to the balcony, despite the amazing views you can enjoy from the top, where you can see the highest peaks in the Alps.
Eintein’s house is in the old town, at Kramgasse Street, 49. It’s just 200 m. from the Clock Tower. Einstein lived here from 1903 to 1905 with his wife Mileva and his son Hans Albert. The apartment has some period furniture, some images and texts showed with modern display systems.
Here is a map with the main touristic sites:
GPS coordinates: 46.948219, 7.459898 (point of touristic information)
More information: Tourism in Bern