Rathaus, Bern

This 15th-century late-Gothic style town hall is one of the main buildings in Bern. It is the seat of the cantonal government, where the Bernese Cantonal Council meets five times a year. In front is a 16th-century fountain featuring a Bernese standard-bearer in full armor with, of course, a bear.

Zytglogge, Bern

Back in Bern’s early days, the clock tower served as the city gate. It was part of a defense wall that formed the city’s westernmost boundary and the fourth line of defense (the other three were the river). The tower was constructed in the 13th century, and within forty years the boundaries shifted further west….

Bern, Switzerland

Bern is known as the most relaxed city in Switzerland and one of the most laid-back European capitals. It’s easy to see why: natural beauty – imposing ash and oak trees, steep hills and the Aare River – surrounds quiet cobblestone streets and quaint arcaded buildings and benches and fountains are scattered about to maximize…

Bern’s Bears

In addition to fountains, Bern is also full of bears. As legend has it, after Duke Berchtold V. von Zähringen ordered up the city of Bern, the first animal he saw (and captured, depending on the source) in the wild was a bear. Good thing it wasn’t a skunk or a chipmunk.