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A Day in Bern, Switzerland

Referred to as the bundas Stadt (federal city) by the natives, Bern is the de-facto capital of Switzerland. Comprised of mostly medieval architecture,  Bern reflects its historical roots through its diverse culture and opportunities. If you have more than a day to spare in Bern, by all means, you should spend some time in the Alps. The breathtaking views and skiing adventurous are an extraordinary experience. I would also suggest a trip up to the summit of Schilthorn ( 1.5 hours away). Taking the cable cars up to the helm and visiting the interactive adventure exhibition “Bond World 007” is a treat. Many parts of the 1967 James Bond movie “on her Majesty’s secret service was filmed there. But let’s spend a day in the city of Bern.

Einsteinhaus

One of the greatest minds of human history resided in Bern. Albert Einstein lived here from 1903-1905. During this time he developed some of his most substantial theories. The flat on the second floor of 49, Kramgasse has been restored to the state Einstein kept it.  Additionally, furniture and housewares from that period have been displayed. Visitors come to view the simple domestic vistas that may have inspired humankind’s very understanding of the universe.

Zytglogge (Clock Tower)

Zytglogge, the clock tower, was the first western gate of the city. With its famous astronomical calendar clock built in 1530, is now one of the main attractions of Bern and the oldest clock tower in Switzerland. Incidentally, it was the city’s main clock and therefore had an official function in Bern. It was from there that travel times indicated on the hour stones along the cantonal roads were measured. 

Bärengraben (Bear Pits)

Brown bears, the symbol of Bern, live here in an enclosed park. Legend has it in 1191 Duke Berthold the Fifth swore to name his newly founded town after the first animal he slays in the surrounding forest, which turned out to be a bear. The town embraced this bear-centric world view and decided that if they were going to be called bear (Bern means bear in Swiss), they should have some bears. Although many of the bears have been supplanted to a different location, the original bear park remains. 

Bern Old Town

 At the heart of Bern is its beautiful Old Town with six kilo-meters of arcades. Besides these unique arcades, Bern’s historical townscape, dating back to 1191, is characterized by the Prison Tower (Käfigturm), the sculptural fountains from the Renaissance, the Cathedral (Münster), and the well-kept sandstone facades. Visitors can discover bars, cultural venues, and specialty shops here. This would be an ideal place to indulge in the world renowned Swiss chocolates while picking up some for family and friends as your trip winds down. For visitors with hefty tastes, Swiss watches are also displayed on prominent showroom displays.

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