Bern is not only the capital but is also one of the most charming cities of Switzerland. It’s historical old town (UNESCO would heritage) is well preserved and represents a perfect medieval age settings even today.
Out of all the beautiful things I saw there, two of them stood out and can sufficiently define Bern : Fountains and Bridges! This is why I decided to write this post about things that make Bern different from other Swiss cities: Fountains and Bridges!
I was amazed by the interesting fountains in Bern. When I went there few days ago, I did not know anything about this fascination of fountains in Bern. It was amazing to see theses pretty colorful fountains lined up on the main streets of old historic Bern. When I came back form the day trip, I had to find out about them more and then I found out that these beautiful fountains were more than just fountains. They represent a lot about Bern history and culture. In 16th century, these fountains not only provided water to the city, but were also meeting points to chat, collect water and do washing. These fountains brighten up the city and complete the medieval image of the city.
Bern has about more than 100 fountains and 11 of them are still the original artworks from 16th century. Most of these fountains were created in 16th century by the famous artist Hans Gieng.
Lets have a look at my favorite ones:
- Pfieferbrunnen (Piper fountain): This fountain was created by Hans Gieng (like most of the rest) and was inspired by woodcut painting by a famous artist Albrecht Duerer. It was the painting of a bagpiper.
2. Schützenbrunnen (Marksman fountain): This fountain represents a historic marksman holding a banner and a sword. A small bear standing between his legs is aiming at the arcades with a gun.
3. Anna-Seiler-Brunnen (Anna-Seiler fountain): This fountain is a memorial for Anna-Seiler who founded the first hospital in Bern. She asked city to help create a hospital in her house in her will. The fountain represents her in the blue dress pouring water in a dish.
4. Zähringerbrunnen (Zähringen fountain) : This fountain was created in the memory of Berthold V, Duke of Zähringen, who actually founded Bern city. Zaehringen was the old noble German family who founded a large number of cities in current Switzerland. The statue is a fully armored bear, with another bear cub at his feet. The armored bear carries a shield and a banner, both have the Zähringen lion as its symbol. With all these royal families and symbols, All I can think about is the new season of Game of Thrones! Come soon please!
Apart from interesting and historical fountains, Bern has a lots of diverse bridges as well. From old stoned bridges to new concrete bridges. All the bridges mentioned down here are on Aare river and made a very beautiful sight along the curves of the river.
Some (of the many) bridges in Bern are:
- Nydeggbrücke: This 190m long bridge crosses over Aare river and connects the eastern part of the old city to the new part. It is located near the famous bear garden!
2. Untertorbrücke: This bridge is also on river Aare and is parallel to Nydeggbrücke. This is the oldest bridge and as the only one in the city till middle of 19th century. Pretty and classy!
Panoramic view from the bear garden that shows Aare river and Nydeggbrücke (right side) and a slight glimpse of Kirchenfeldbrücke (on the extreme right, parallel to the high Cathedral tower).
3. Kirchenfeldbrücke: It was the first high level bridge made of Iron in the city. It was initially used for developing the neighborhood of the church and hence the name Kirchenfeld ( Church field in German).
4. Kornhausbrücke: This is another high iron bridge made for development in the Lorraine neighborhood.
5. Lorraine railway and road bridges: Lorraine railway bridge or Lorraine railway viaduct carries Olten-to-Lausanne railway line. It is just north of the main train station Bern. Just next to it is the Lorraine road bridge. It was the first reinforced concrete high level bridge.
Charismatic Bern takes you back to medieval times. If you are planning a Swiss holiday, it should be definitely in your itinerary (As Lausanne). I will write another post soon about how to explore the best of the city in a day tour!
Keep the charm up guys! Feel free to like, comment, share or subscribe if you like my post 🙂
Lots of love,
You deserve this travel break!
After a hard week of work, you deserve this break. Get our destination guides, weekend travel guides and all the travel hacks in your email.