World Heritage #0267 – Old City of Berne

Last modified 27.03.2022 | Published 15.07.2002North and Central Europe, Switzerland, World Heritage Sites

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Visit the living bears and step back in time for a walk through the Old City of Berne, the Swiss capital.

The UNESCO World Heritage List includes more than a thousand properties with outstanding universal value. They are all part of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.


Official facts

  • Country: Switzerland
  • Date of Inscription: 1983
  • Category: Cultural site

UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre’s short description of site no. 267:

“Founded in the 12th century on a hill site surrounded by the Aare River, Berne developed over the centuries in line with an exceptionally coherent planning concept. The buildings in the Old City, dating from a variety of periods, include 15th-century arcades and 16th-century fountains. Most of the medieval town was restored in the 18th century but it has retained its original character.”


My visit

Berne (or Bern) is more than its “planning concept” to the visitor. There is also the bear pit, the deep hole where they keep all their captured bears being the symbols of the city. At least they did in 2002 when I visited the capital of Switzerland. Apart from that I must admit I liked the city, especially the street arcades in the old city of Berne.

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