The Capital of Switzerland
The city was founded in 1191 by the Duke of Zähringen, is known for its arcades (Lauben) and some of it has been preserved in its original state. The Old City was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1983.
A free imperial city since 1218, Bern joined the Swiss Confederacy in 1353 and became the largest city-state north of the Alps by the 16th century.
In 1848 Bern was chosen by the first Swiss Parliament to be the Federal Capital of Switzerland, after which the Parliament Building was constructed in Florentine Renaissance style. Artists from all over Switzerland created paintings, sculptures and mosaics to decorate the sumptuous interiors.
With over 132,000 residents (urban agglomeration 351,000), the Swiss capital Bern is now the fourth largest city in Switzerland. Its location near the language border to French-speaking Switzerland makes it a cultural melting pot.
Parliament Building Tour
A free tour through the Parliament Building is available through advance reservation. Visitors learn about the building's history as well as the Parliament's structure and how it functions.
Registration one day in advance is required.
Tour hours: Mon. - Sat, 11:00, 14:00
Groups of 10 to 50 persons must register at least four months in advance.
Tour hours: Mon. - Sat., 09:00, 10:00, 15:00, 16:00
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