Climb the tower of the cathedral, because it is a show from Bern. Arose in the Middle Ages on a peninsula of the Aare River in the heart of Switzerland, but the design is so perfect it could have been the river to draw a loop around the city, as if to embrace her. Once its course silver enclosed the entire city center: the houses with their red roofs, ancient palaces and squares, then the city, a few centuries since the birth, surpassed the confines of the peninsula and the river was decked out with elegant bridges.
From the ground the view is not to be outdone in the distance, beyond the roofs, rise the Bernese Alps covered with snow, but also the heights closest to Berne, Monte and Monte Gurten Bantiger, have an imposing amount of over 900 meters. Capital of the Canton of Bern and the Swiss capital, Bern has a population of about 130 000 inhabitants and is an important economic, cultural and tourism which has been renovated over the years without harming his most precious treasure: the medieval heart, declared by UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Just in the Middle Ages begins the story of Berne, who already bear as a heraldic animal. A founding it was the Duke of Zähringen, Berthold V, probably in 1191, but when he died without heirs in 1218 was: why Berne was declared free imperial city. In the middle of the fourteenth century became a member of the Helvetic Confederation, cantons and one of eight up to 1481 in the meantime, since 1415, had conquered many territories becoming the city-state’s largest and most important north of the Alps since the Middle Ages to the seventeenth century flourished towers, in a match in height, grandeur and solidity, and the boundaries of the city changed with increasing population, equipping itself with new fortifications. In 1848, when it was declared a federal city and seat of the Federal Assembly of the federal state of Switzerland, Bern had preserved its ancient center, which still represents a unique example of medieval testimony.
The rugged terrain gives it more charm. Between the center of Berne, framed Aare, and above the surrounding neighborhoods, there is a difference of a few tens of meters, the houses seem to be arranged like an amphitheater around the river, close to each other along paths, roads and yards . The arches of the palaces unfold for six kilometers, in Europe there is another walk of shops so long, sheltered by the arcades. And not only are modern shops: next to the boutique shops and taverns recognize glittering antique flavor, which make Bern a place on a human scale, big and intimate at the same time.
The brick facades and old ramparts, which descend to the water, would suffice to create a magical atmosphere, but the finishing touch is given by the shape of the Zytglogge, the clock tower. Symbol of Bern and its most famous attraction, the tower was part of the thirteenth century walls, while the clock of 1530 is one of the oldest in Switzerland . In that year, to be honest, the mechanism back and only some of the sculptures that decorate it, like the golden cock that crows three times, the knight Hans von Thann who beats time with a hammer and man turning the hourglass. In 1610 were added to the bears, dressed in the colors of the city, some of whom wield weapons or playing musical instruments, and in 1642 the joker who plays the bells and toddles about every time the cock crows. Under the traditional quadrant is an astronomical clock, which indicates the date, moon phases and the zodiac.
I wonder what he thought Albert Einstein looking at the clock tower? Some say that it was in Bern, where he stayed at the beginning of the twentieth century, the physicist developed the theory of relativity. His house is just one of many museums: the Museum to see the Swiss Alpine Museum and Communication Museum, the Historical Museum and the Museum of Art. The icing on the cake is the Paul Klee Center, designed by Renzo Piano, which houses the world’s largest monographic collection, comprising more than 4 000 works of the painter.
But the most impressive building in the city is certainly the Cathedral, or Muenster, dedicated to St. Vincent of Saragossa. Founded in 1421 and designed by Matthäus Ensinger, was converted to Protestantism during the sixteenth century. It took many years to complete, until 1893, but the result is fierce and solemn. The church has three aisles and on the portal stands a Judgement carved by Erhart Küng at the end of the fifteenth century. To impress, however, is its grandeur: it is the largest religious building in the whole Switzerland and the one with the highest church tower, a good 100 meters, accessible through a staircase of 344 steps and culminating in a breathtaking landscape.
Moreover, since Bern is the seat of the Swiss Federal Government, alongside the main railway station you will find the Houses of Parliament, the Bundeshaus, open to the public and is characterized by a certain way vai personality. But the go-vai is everywhere in the city, especially in summer, when the Aare become an entertainment area and there are even those who can swim. Near the river there are the old Matte district, the zoo and botanical garden, and especially the famous Bear Pit. This is a true circular pit inhabited by a group of bears, always ready to soften the tourists and stretch themselves a treat of apple or carrot.
If you want to know more cheerful face of Bern visited the center on days the market. In particular, the fourth Monday in November, the market Zibelemärit onions is a must and an excuse to celebrate: the streets, infested with confetti, with vendors selling the tasty vegetable and onion tart typical. Between spring and summer held many other events: Jazz Festival runs from March to May, the Day of Dance will take place in June and July is the time of Gurtenfestival, a music event that attracts international artists on the Mount Gurten.
The climate is ideal for summer fun: Bern is never very hot and walking is always nice. Even in July the average values ranging from a minimum of 13° C to a maximum of 23 ° C, although it lacks the particularly hot days. The rain, however, is still there: June is the wettest month, with an average of 123 mm of water and 13 days of bad weather, but just an umbrella to protect themselves fully enjoy the beauties of the city. Bern is the most hard winter, so cold as impressive: the average temperatures ranging from a minimum of -4° C and a maximum of 2° C ensures a beautiful snow, as befits a perfect Christmas.
When weather permits, the best way to know Berne is to walk or bicycle, often provided free of charge by the hotel. In any case, the transport system is very efficient, both as regards the buses that the trains. The railway connects the city to the main centers of Switzerland, Germany, of France and northern Italy, while the S-Bahn subway system connecting Berne with the surrounding region, even beyond the cantonal borders. airport Bern-Belp, south of the city, especially served by charter flights. From the center of Bern can be reached in 20 minutes by bus Bernmobil, line 334, or by AirportBus that runs every hour to the train station in Bern.
Originally posted 2012-08-02 10:47:20.