The city of
Bern (German: [bɛrn] ( listen)) or Berne
(French: [bɛʁn]; Italian: Berna [ˈbɛrna]; Romansh: Berna
[ˈbɛrnɐ]; Bernese German: Bärn [b̥æːrn]) is the de facto
capital of Switzerland, referred to by the Swiss as their (e.g. in
German) Bundesstadt, or "federal city".[note 1] With a population
of 142,656 (March 2018),
Bern is the fourth-most populous
city in Switzerland. The
Bern agglomeration, which
includes 36 municipalities, had a population of 406,900 in 2014.
The metropolitan area had a population of 660,000 in 2000.
also the capital of the canton of Bern, the second-most populous of
The official language in
Bern is (the Swiss variety of Standard)
German, but the most-spoken language is an Alemannic Swiss German
dialect, Bernese German.
In 1983, the historic old town (in German: Innere Stadt) in the centre
Bern became a
UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Bern is ranked among the
world’s top ten cities for the best quality of life (2010).
2.1 Early history
2.2 Old Swiss Confederacy
2.3 Modern history
3 Geography and climate
4.4 National elections
4.4.1 National Council
4.5 International relations
4.5.1 Twin and sister cities
5.2 Historic population
6 Main sights
6.1 Heritage sites of national significance
7.3 Film festivals
12 Notable people
13 See also
14 Notes and references
15 External links
See also Other names of Bern
The etymology of the name "Bern" is uncertain. According to the local
legend, based on folk etymology, Berchtold V, Duke of Zähringen, the
founder of the city of Bern, vowed to name the city after the first
animal he met on the hunt, and this turned out to be a bear. It has
long been considered likely that the city was named after the Italian
city of Verona, which at the time was known as
Bern in Middle High
German. As a result of the find of the
Bern zinc tablet
Bern zinc tablet in the 1980s,
it is now more common to assume that the city was named after a
pre-existing toponym of Celtic origin, possibly *berna "cleft". The
bear was the heraldic animal of the seal and coat of arms of
at least the 1220s. The earliest reference to the keeping of live
bears in the
Bärengraben dates to the 1440s.
History of Bern
History of Bern and Timeline of Bern
The construction of the Untertor-bridge in Bern, Tschachtlanchronik,
late 15th century
No archaeological evidence that indicates a settlement on the site of
today′s city centre prior to the 12th century has been found so far.
In antiquity, a Celtic oppidum stood on the Engehalbinsel (peninsula)
north of Bern, fortified since the second century BC (late La Tène
period), thought to be one of the 12 oppida of the
by Caesar. During the Roman era, a
Gallo-Roman vicus was on the same
Bern zinc tablet
Bern zinc tablet has the name Brenodor ("dwelling of
Breno"). In the Early Middle Ages, a settlement in Bümpliz, now a
city district of Bern, was some 4 km (2 mi) from the
The medieval city is a foundation of the
Zähringer ruling family,
which rose to power in
Upper Burgundy in the 12th century. According
to 14th-century historiography (Cronica de Berno, 1309),
founded in 1191 by Berthold V, Duke of Zähringen.
In 1218, after Berthold died without an heir,
Bern was made a free
imperial city by the
Goldene Handfeste of
Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor Frederick
Old Swiss Confederacy
Bern in 1638
Bern joined the Swiss Confederacy, becoming one of the eight
cantons of the formative period of 1353 to 1481.
Bern invaded and conquered
Aargau in 1415 and
Vaud in 1536, as well as
other smaller territories, thereby becoming the largest city-state
north of the Alps; by the 18th century, it comprised most of what is
today the canton of
Bern and the canton of Vaud.
The city grew out towards the west of the boundaries of the peninsula
formed by the river Aare. The
Zytglogge tower marked the western
boundary of the city from 1191 until 1256, when the
over this role until 1345. It was, in turn, succeeded by the
Christoffelturm (formerly located close to the site of the modern-day
railway station) until 1622. During the time of the Thirty Years' War,
two new fortifications – the so-called big and small Schanze
(entrenchment) – were built to protect the whole area of the
After a major blaze in 1405, the city's original wooden buildings were
gradually replaced by half-timbered houses and subsequently the
sandstone buildings which came to be characteristic for the Old Town.
Despite the waves of pestilence that hit Europe in the 14th century,
the city continued to grow, mainly due to immigration from the
Bern was occupied by French troops in 1798 during the French
Revolutionary Wars, when it was stripped of parts of its territories.
It regained control of the
Bernese Oberland in 1802, and following the
Congress of Vienna
Congress of Vienna of 1814, it newly acquired the Bernese Jura. At
this time, it once again became the largest canton of the Confederacy
as it stood during the Restoration and until the secession of the
canton of Jura in 1979.
Bern was made the
Federal City (seat of the
Federal Assembly) within the new Swiss federal state in 1848.
A number of congresses of the socialist First and Second
Internationals were held in Bern, particularly during
World War I
World War I when
Switzerland was neutral; see
The city's population rose from about 5,000 in the 15th century to
about 12,000 by 1800 and to above 60,000 by 1900, passing the 100,000
mark during the 1920s. Population peaked during the 1960s at 165,000
and has since decreased slightly, to below 130,000 by 2000. As of
September 2017, the resident population stood at 142,349, of which
100,000 were Swiss citizens and 42,349 (31%) resident foreigners. A
further estimated 350,000 people live in the immediate urban
Geography and climate
Old City of Bern
Old City of Bern with the Minster and its platform above the lower
Matte quarter and the Aare
Aare flows in a wide loop around the Old
City of Bern
Bern from the ISS; The Old
City is in the lower right-hand
Bern lies on the
Swiss plateau in the canton of Bern, slightly west of
the centre of
Switzerland and 20 km (12 mi) north of the
Bernese Alps. The countryside around
Bern was formed by glaciers
during the most recent ice age. The two mountains closest to
Gurten with a height of 864 m (2,835 ft) and
Bantiger with a
height of 947 m (3,107 ft). The site of the old observatory
Bern is the point of origin of the CH1903 coordinate system at
46°57′08.66″N 7°26′22.50″E / 46.9524056°N
7.4395833°E / 46.9524056; 7.4395833.
The city was originally built on a hilly peninsula surrounded by the
river Aare, but outgrew natural boundaries by the 19th century. A
number of bridges have been built to allow the city to expand beyond
Bern is built on very uneven ground. An elevation difference of
several metres exists between the inner city districts on the Aare
(Matte, Marzili) and the higher ones (Kirchenfeld, Länggasse).
Bern has an area, as of 2009[update], of 51.62 km2
(19.93 sq mi). Of this area, 9.79 km2
(3.78 sq mi) or 19.0% is used for agricultural purposes,
while 17.33 km2 (6.69 sq mi) or 33.6% is forested. Of
the rest of the land, 23.25 km2 (8.98 sq mi) or 45.0%
is settled (buildings or roads), 1.06 km2 (0.41 sq mi)
or 2.1% is either rivers or lakes, and 0.16 km2
(0.062 sq mi) or 0.3% is unproductive land.
Of the developed, 3.6% consists of industrial buildings, 21.7% housing
and other buildings, and 12.6% is devoted to transport infrastructure.
Power and water infrastructure, as well as other special developed
areas, made up 1.1% of the city, while another 6.0% consists of parks,
green belts, and sports fields; 32.8% of the total land area is
heavily forested. Of the agricultural land, 14.3% is used for growing
crops and 4.0% is designated to be used as pastures. The rivers and
streams provide all the water in the municipality.
According to the Köppen Climate Classification,
Bern has a temperate
oceanic climate (Cfb). .
The closest weather station near
Bern is located in the municipality
of Zollikofen, about 5 kilometres (3 mi) north of the city
centre. The warmest month for
Bern is July, with a daily mean
temperature of 18.3 °C (64.9 °F), and a daily maximum
temperature of 24.3 °C (75.7 °F). The highest
temperature recorded at
Zollikofen is 37.0 °C
(98.6 °F), recorded in August 2003. On average, a
temperature of 25 °C (77 °F) or above is recorded 40.7
days per year, and 6 days per year with a temperature of 30 °C
(86 °F) or above at Zollikofen, and the warmest day reaches
an average of 32.1 °C (89.8 °F).
There are 103.7 days of air frost, and 22.3 ice days per year at Bern
(Zollikofen) for the period of 1981-2010, as well as 14.1 days of
snowfall, 36.7 days of snow cover per year and the average amount of
snow measured per year is 52.6 centimetres (20.7 in). On
average, January is the coldest month, with a daily mean temperature
of −0.4 °C (31.3 °F), and a daily minimum temperature of
−3.6 °C (25.5 °F). The lowest temperature ever
Bern (Zollikofen) was −23.0 °C
(−9.4 °F), recorded in February 1929, and typically the
coldest temperature of the year reaches an average of −12.8 °C
(9.0 °F) for the period of 1981-2010.
Climate data for
Bern / Zollikofen, elevation: 553 m or
1,814 ft, 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1901–present
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average snowfall cm (inches)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)
Average snowy days (≥ 1.0 cm)
Average relative humidity (%)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Percent possible sunshine
Source #1: MeteoSwiss
Source #2: KNMI
The municipality is administratively subdivided into six districts
(Stadtteile), each of which consists of several quarters (Quartiere).
Districts and quarters of Bern
Innere Stadt (Old
City of Bern)
See also: List of mayors of Bern
See also: Gemeinderat (Bern)
The Municipal Council (Gemeinderat) constitutes the executive
government of the
Bern and operates as a collegiate authority.
It is composed of five councillors (German: Gemeinderat/-rätin), each
presiding over a directorate (Direktion) comprising several
departments and bureaus. The president of the executive department
acts as mayor (Stadtpräsident). In the mandate period 2017–2020
(Legislatur) the Municipal Council is presided by Stadtpräsident Alec
von Graffenried. Departmental tasks, coordination measures and
implementation of laws decreed by the
City Council are carried by the
Municipal Council. The regular election of the Municipal Council by
any inhabitant valid to vote is held every four years. Any resident of
Bern allowed to vote can be elected as a member of the Municipal
Council. Contrary to most other municipalities, the executive
government in Berne is selected by means of a system of Proporz. The
mayor is elected as such as well by public election while the heads of
the other directorates are assigned by the collegiate. The executive
body holds its meetings in the Erlacherhof, built by architect
Albrecht Stürler after 1747.
As of 2017[update], Bern's Municipal Council is made up of two
representatives of the SP (Social Democratic Party), and one each of
CVP (Christian Democratic Party), GFL (Grüne Freie Liste a.k.a. Green
Free List, who is the newly elected mayor since 2017), and GB (Green
Alliance of Berne), giving the left parties a very strong majority of
four out of five seats. The last regular election was held on 27
November 2016/15 January 2017.
The Municipal Council (Gemeinderat) of Bern
Head of Directorate (Direktion, since) of
Alec von Graffenried[GR 1]
Mayor's Office (Präsidialdirektion (PRD), 2017)
Reto Nause[GR 2]
Security, the Environment and Energy (Direktion für Sicherheit,
Umwelt und Energie (SUE), 2009)
Education, Social Welfare and Sport (Direktion für Bildung, Soziales
und Sport (BSS), 2013)
Civil Engineering, Transport and Green Spaces (Direktion für Tiefbau,
Verkehr und Stadtgrün (TVS), 2013)
Finances, Personnel and IT (Direktion für Finanzen, Personal und
Informatik (FPI), 2017)
Dr. Jürg Wichtermann is State Chronicler (Staatsschreiber) since
2008. He has been elected by the collegiate.
The Stadtrat of
Bern for the mandate period of 2017-2020
City Council (de: Stadtrat, fr: Conseil de ville) holds
legislative power. It is made up of 80 members, with elections held
every four years. The
City Council decrees regulations and by-laws
that are executed by the Municipal Council and the administration. The
delegates are selected by means of a system of proportional
The sessions of the
City Council are public. Unlike members of the
Municipal Council, members of the
City Council are not politicians by
profession, and they are paid a fee based on their attendance. Any
Bern allowed to vote can be elected as a member of the
City Council. The parliament holds its meetings in the Stadthaus (Town
The last regular election of the
City Council was held on 27 November
2016 for the mandate period (German: Legislatur, French: la
législature) from 2017 to 2020. Currently the
City Council consist of
24 members of the Social Democratic Party (SP/PS) including 2 members
of the junior party JUSO, 9 Green Alliance of Berne (GB), 9 The
Liberals (FDP/PLR), 9
Swiss People's Party
Swiss People's Party (SVP/UDC), 8 Grüne Freie
Liste (GFL) (Green Free List), 8 Green Liberal Party (glp/pvl)
including one member of its junior party jglp, 3 Conservative
Democratic Party (BDP/PBD), 2 Christian Democratic People's Party
(CVP/PDC), 2 Evangelical People's Party (EVP/PEV), 2 Junge Alternative
(JA!) (or Young Alternatives), 2 Alternative Linke
Bern (AL), 1 Grüne
Bern - Demokratische Alternative (GPB-DA) (or Green Party Bern
- Democratic Alternative), and 1
Swiss Party of Labour
Swiss Party of Labour (PdA).
The following parties combine their parliamentary power in
parliamentary groups (German: Fraktion(en)): AL and GPB-DA and PdA
(4), SP and JUSO (24), GB and JA! (11), GFL and EVP (10), glp und jglp
(8), BDP and CVP (5), FDP (9), and SVP (9). This gives the left
parties an absolute majority of 49 seats.
In the 2015 federal election for the Swiss National Council the most
popular party was the PS which received 34.3% of the vote. The next
five most popular parties were the Green Party (17.4%), the UDC
(12.4%), and the FDP/PLR (9.9%), glp/pvl (9.4%), and the BDP/PBD
(7.0%). In the federal election, a total of 48,556 voters were cast,
and the voter turnout was 56.0%.
Twin and sister cities
The Municipal Council of the city of
Bern decided against having
twinned cities except for a temporary (during the UEFA Euro 2008)
cooperation with the Austrian city Salzburg
Largest groups of foreign residents 2012
Republic of Macedonia
Bern has a population (as of December 2016[update]) of 133,115..
About 34% of the population are resident foreign nationals. Over the
10 years between 2000 and 2010, the population changed at a rate of
0.6%. Migration accounted for 1.3%, while births and deaths accounted
Most of the population (as of 2000[update]) speaks German (104,465 or
81.2%) as their first language, Italian is the second most common
(5,062 or 3.9%) and French is the third (4,671 or 3.6%). There are 171
people who speak Romansh.
As of 2008[update], the population was 47.5% male and 52.5% female.
The population was made up of 44,032 Swiss men (35.4% of the
population) and 15,092 (12.1%) non-Swiss men. There were 51,531 Swiss
women (41.4%) and 13,726 (11.0%) non-Swiss women. Of the
population in the municipality, 39,008 or about 30.3% were born in
Bern and lived there in 2000. There were 27,573 or 21.4% who were born
in the same canton, while 25,818 or 20.1% were born somewhere else in
Switzerland, and 27,812 or 21.6% were born outside of Switzerland.
Apartment blocks at Bern-Bethlehem
As of 2000[update], children and teenagers (0–19 years old) make up
15.1% of the population, while adults (20–64 years old) make up 65%
and seniors (over 64 years old) make up 19.9%.
As of 2000[update], there were 59,948 people who were single and never
married in the municipality. There were 49,873 married individuals,
9,345 widows or widowers and 9,468 individuals who are divorced.
Houses in the Old
City of Bern
As of 2000[update], there were 67,115 private households in the
municipality, and an average of 1.8 persons per household. There
were 34,981 households that consist of only one person and 1,592
households with five or more people. In 2000[update], a total of
65,538 apartments (90.6% of the total) were permanently occupied,
while 5,352 apartments (7.4%) were seasonally occupied and 1,444
apartments (2.0%) were empty. As of 2009[update], the construction
rate of new housing units was 1.2 new units per 1000 residents.
As of 2003[update] the average price to rent an average apartment in
Bern was 1108.92 Swiss francs (CHF) per month (US$890, £500, €710
approx. exchange rate from 2003). The average rate for a one-room
apartment was 619.82 CHF (US$500, £280, €400), a two-room apartment
was about 879.36 CHF (US$700, £400, €560), a three-room apartment
was about 1040.54 CHF (US$830, £470, €670) and a six or more room
apartment cost an average of 2094.80 CHF (US$1680, £940, €1340).
The average apartment price in
Bern was 99.4% of the national average
of 1116 CHF. The vacancy rate for the municipality, in
2010[update], was 0.45%.
The historical population is given in the following chart:
Historic Population Data
Other or no religion given
No religion given
From the 2000 census[update], 60,455 or 47.0% belonged to the Swiss
Reformed Church, while 31,510 or 24.5% were Roman Catholic. Of the
rest of the population, there were 1,874 members of an Orthodox church
(or about 1.46% of the population), there were 229 persons (or about
0.18% of the population) who belonged to the Christian Catholic
Church, and there were 5,531 persons (or about 4.30% of the
population) who belonged to another Christian church. There were 324
persons (or about 0.25% of the population) who were Jewish, and 4,907
(or about 3.81% of the population) who were Muslim. There were 629
persons who were Buddhist, 1,430 persons who were Hindu and 177
persons who belonged to another church. 16,363 (or about 12.72% of the
population) belonged to no church, are agnostic or atheist, and 7,855
persons (or about 6.11% of the population) did not answer the
question. On 14 December 2014 the
Haus der Religionen
Haus der Religionen was
The central building of the Federal Palace of Switzerland
Ogre of the
Kindlifresserbrunnen has a sack of children waiting to
The structure of Bern's city centre is largely medieval and has been
UNESCO as a Cultural World Heritage Site. Perhaps its
most famous sight is the
Bernese German for "Time Bell"),
an elaborate medieval clock tower with moving puppets. It also has an
impressive 15th century Gothic cathedral, the Münster, and a
15th-century town hall. Thanks to 6 kilometres (4 miles) of arcades,
the old town boasts one of the longest covered shopping promenades in
Since the 16th century, the city has had a bear pit, the Bärengraben,
at the far end of the
Nydeggbrücke to house its heraldic animals. The
currently four bears are now kept in an open-air enclosure nearby, and
two other young bears, a present by the Russian president, are kept in
The Federal Palace (Bundeshaus), built from 1857 to 1902, which houses
the national parliament, government and part of the federal
administration, can also be visited.
Albert Einstein lived in a flat at the
Kramgasse 49, the site of the
Einsteinhaus, from 1903 to 1905, the year in which the Annus Mirabilis
Papers were published.
The Rose Garden (Rosengarten), from which a scenic panoramic view of
the medieval town centre can be enjoyed, is a well-kept Rosarium on a
hill, converted into a park from a former cemetery in 1913.
There are eleven Renaissance allegorical statues on public fountains
in the Old Town. Nearly all the 16th century fountains, except the
Zähringer fountain which was created by Hans Hiltbrand, are the work
Fribourg master Hans Gieng. One of the more interesting
fountains is the
Kindlifresserbrunnen (Bernese German: Child Eater
Fountain but often translated
Ogre Fountain) which is claimed to
represent a Jew, the Greek god
Chronos or a Fastnacht figure that
scares disobedient children.
Bern's most recent sight is the set of fountains in front of the
Federal Palace. It was inaugurated on 1 August 2004.
Universal Postal Union
Universal Postal Union is situated in Bern.
Zytglogge clock tower and the city's medieval covered shopping
Heritage sites of national significance
Bern is home to 114 Swiss heritage sites of national significance.
It includes the entire Old Town, which is also a
UNESCO World Heritage
Site, and many sites within and around it. Some of the most notable in
the Old Town include the Cathedral which was started in 1421 and is
the tallest cathedral in Switzerland, the
Zytglogge and Käfigturm
towers, which mark two successive expansions of the Old Town, and the
Holy Ghost Church, which is one of the largest Swiss Reformed churches
in Switzerland. Within the Old Town, there are eleven 16th century
fountains, most attributed to Hans Gieng, that are on the list.
Outside the Old Town the heritage sites include the Bärengraben, the
Bern (1937), the Eidgenössisches Archiv für
Denkmalpflege, the Kirchenfeld mansion district (de) (after
1881), the Thunplatzbrunnen, the Federal Mint building, the Federal
Archives, the Swiss National Library, the Historical Museum (1894),
Alpine Museum, Museum of Communication and Natural History Museum.
Zentrum Paul Klee
See also: List of museums in Bern
Narrenpack Theatre Bern
The Theatre on the Effinger-Street
Theatre am Käfigturm
Bern has several dozen cinemas. As is customary in German Switzerland,
films are generally in German. Some films in select cinemas are shown
in their original language with German and French subtitles.
Shnit international shortfilmfestival shnit International
Shortfilmfestival, held annually in early October.
Queersicht – gay and lesbian film festival, held annually in
the second week of November.
BeJazz Summer and Winter Festival
Internationales Jazzfestival Bern
Zibelemärit – The
Zibelemärit (onion market) is an annual
fair held on the fourth Monday in November.
Bernese Fassnacht (Carnival)
Stade de Suisse Wankdorf
Bern was the site of the 1954 Football (Soccer) World Cup Final, a
huge upset for the Hungarian Golden Team, who were beaten 3–2 by
West Germany. The football team
BSC Young Boys
BSC Young Boys is based in
Bern at the
Stade de Suisse Wankdorf, which also was one of the venues for the
European football championship 2008 in which it hosted 3 matches.
SC Bern is the major ice hockey team of
Bern which plays in the
PostFinance Arena. They compete in the National League (NL), the
highest league in Switzerland. The team has ranked highest in
attendance for a European hockey team for more than a decade. The
PostFinance Arena was the main host of the 2009 IIHF Ice Hockey World
Championship, including the opening game and the final of the
PostFinance Arena was also the host of the 2011 European Figure
Bern Cardinals is the baseball and softball team of Bern, which plays
at the Allmend
Bern Grizzlies is the American football club in
Bern and plays at
Athletics Arena Wankdorf.
Bern was a candidate to host the 2010 Winter Olympics, but withdrew
its bid in September 2002 after a referendum was passed that showed
that the bid was not supported by locals. Those games were eventually
awarded to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Bern is the local rugby club (since 1972) and plays at the Allmend.
The ladies team was founded in 1995.
The locality of Bremgartenwald was home to the Bremgarten Circuit, the
Grand Prix motor racing
Grand Prix motor racing course that at one time hosted the Swiss Grand
Bern Bears is an NGO Basketball Club since 2010 in city of Bern.
As of 2010[update],
Bern had an unemployment rate of 3.3%. As of
2008[update], there were 259 people employed in the primary economic
sector and about 59 businesses involved in this sector. 16,413 people
were employed in the secondary sector and there were 950 businesses in
this sector. 135,973 people were employed in the tertiary sector, with
7,654 businesses in this sector.
In 2008[update] the total number of full-time equivalent jobs was
125,037. The number of jobs in the primary sector was 203, of which
184 were in agriculture and 19 were in forestry or lumber production.
The number of jobs in the secondary sector was 15,476 of which 7,650
or (49.4%) were in manufacturing, 51 or (0.3%) were in mining and
6,389 (41.3%) were in construction. The number of jobs in the tertiary
sector was 109,358. In the tertiary sector; 11,396 or 10.4% were in
wholesale or retail sales or the repair of motor vehicles, 10,293 or
9.4% were in the movement and storage of goods, 5,090 or 4.7% were in
a hotel or restaurant, 7,302 or 6.7% were in the information industry,
8,437 or 7.7% were the insurance or financial industry, 10,660 or 9.7%
were technical professionals or scientists, 5,338 or 4.9% were in
education and 17,903 or 16.4% were in health care.
In 2000[update], there were 94,367 workers who commuted into the
municipality and 16,424 workers who commuted away. The municipality is
a net importer of workers, with about 5.7 workers entering the
municipality for every one leaving. Of the working population,
50.6% used public transport to get to work, and 20.6% used a private
Main building of the University of Bern
The University of Bern, whose buildings are mainly located in the
Länggasse quarter, is located in Bern, as well as the University of
Applied Sciences (Fachhochschule) and several vocations schools.
In Bern, about 50,418 or (39.2%) of the population have completed
non-mandatory upper secondary education, and 24,311 or (18.9%) have
completed additional higher education (either university or a
Fachhochschule). Of the 24,311 who completed tertiary schooling, 51.6%
were Swiss men, 33.0% were Swiss women, 8.9% were non-Swiss men and
6.5% were non-Swiss women.
The canton of
Bern school system provides one year of non-obligatory
kindergarten, followed by six years of primary school. This is
followed by three years of obligatory lower secondary school where the
pupils are separated according to ability and aptitude. Following the
lower secondary pupils may attend additional schooling or they may
enter an apprenticeship.
During the 2009–10 school year, there were a total of 10,979 pupils
attending classes in Bern. There were 89 kindergarten classes with a
total of 1,641 pupils in the municipality. Of the kindergarten pupils,
32.4% were permanent or temporary residents of
citizens) and 40.2% have a different mother language than the
classroom language. The municipality had 266 primary classes and 5,040
pupils. Of the primary pupils, 30.1% were permanent or temporary
Switzerland (not citizens) and 35.7% have a different
mother language than the classroom language. During the same year,
there were 151 lower secondary classes with a total of 2,581 pupils.
There were 28.7% who were permanent or temporary residents of
Switzerland (not citizens) and 32.7% have a different mother language
than the classroom language.
Bern is home to 8 libraries. These libraries include; the Schweiz.
Nationalbibliothek/ Bibliothèque nationale suisse, the
Universitätsbibliothek Bern, the Kornhausbibliotheken Bern, the BFH
Wirtschaft und Verwaltung Bern, the BFH Gesundheit, the BFH Soziale
Arbeit, the Hochschule der Künste Bern, Gestaltung und Kunst and the
Hochschule der Künste Bern, Musikbibliothek. There was a combined
total (as of 2008[update]) of 10,308,336 books or other media in the
libraries, and in the same year a total of 2,627,973 items were loaned
As of 2000[update], there were 9,045 pupils in
Bern who came from
another municipality, while 1,185 residents attended schools outside
Tram station on the Bahnhofplatz, with the Heiliggeistkirche in the
The public transport in and around
Bern is operated by BERNMOBIL,
which is integrated into the fare network libero with coordinated
timetables, which in itself covers the area of canton of
Solothurn. The fare network includes any mode of public transport,
such as any kind of train (including the urban S-Bahn), PostAuto
buses, trams, buses (either trolleybuses or motorized buses) and
others. Fares are based on the number of zones crossed during a
specified time and are independent of the mode of transport or the
number of connections. The central part of Bern, excluding Bümpliz,
Betlehem, Bottingen, Brünnen, and Riedbach in the west of the
municipality, is part of the fare zone 100.
Bern's central railway station Bahnhof Bern) (formerly known as
Hauptbahnhof Bern) is not only the central network nucleus of Bern,
but also of the whole urban and inter-cantonal region. It connects the
city to the urban, national and international railways network and is
Switzerland's second most busy railway station (202,600 passengers per
working day in 2014).
A funicular railway leads from the Marzili district to the Bundeshaus.
Marzilibahn funicular is, with a length of 106 m
(348 ft), the second shortest public railway in Europe after the
Aare bridges connect the old parts of the city with the newer
districts outside of the peninsula.
Bern is well connected to other cities by several motorways (A1, A12,
Bern is also served by
Bern Airport, located outside the city near the
town of Belp. The regional airport, colloquially called Bern-
Belpmoos, is connected to several European cities. Additionally
Geneva Airport and EuroAirport
Freiburg also serve as international gateways, all reachable within
less than two hours by train or car from Bern.
Albert Einstein's house
Mikhail Bakunin, died in
Bern on 1 July 1876
Peter Bieri, philosophy professor and novelist
Fabian Cancellara, cyclist
Louise Elisabeth de Meuron, famed eccentric and noble lady
Albert Einstein, worked out his theory of relativity while living in
Bern, employed as a patent examiner at the patent office
Paul Emmert, painter
Christoph von Graffenried, founder of New
Bern in the U.S. state of
Albrecht von Haller, anatomist and physiologist
Lukas Hartmann, novelist and children's literature writer
Ferdinand Hodler, painter
Roman Josi, ice hockey player
Sven Baertschi, ice hockey player
Michael Kauter, fencer
Emil Theodor Kocher, recipient of 1909 Nobel Prize
Vladimir Lenin, resided in
Bern from 1914 until 1917
Min Li Marti
Min Li Marti (born 1974), politician, publisher, sociologist and
Mani Matter, songwriter
Gottfried Mind, painter
Daniel Mojon, ophthalmologist, inventor of minimally-invasive
strabismus surgery (MISS)
Algirdas Paleckis, diplomat and politician, born in Bern
Regula Rytz (born 1962), politician, sociologist and historian
Léon Savary, Swiss writer and journalist
Mark Streit, ice hockey player
Aimé Félix Tschiffely, equestrian
Hans Urwyler, Christian minister
Adolf Wölfli, visual artist
Ursula Wyss, economist and politician
Municipalities of the canton of Bern
Notes and references
^ According to the Swiss constitution, the Swiss Confederation
intentionally has no "capital", but
Bern has governmental institutions
such as the
Swiss parliament and the Federal Council of Switzerland.
However, the Federal Supreme Court of
Switzerland is in Lausanne, the
Federal Criminal Court of
Switzerland is in Bellinzona, and the
Federal Administrative Court of
Switzerland and the Federal Patent
Switzerland are in St. Gallen. That exemplifies the very
federal nature of the Swiss Confederation
^ Arealstatistik Standard - Gemeindedaten nach 4 Hauptbereichen
^ a b Swiss Federal Statistical Office - STAT-TAB, online database –
Ständige und nichtständige Wohnbevölkerung nach institutionellen
Gliederungen, Geburtsort und Staatsangehörigkeit (in German) accessed
30 August 2017
^ Holenstein, André (2012). "Die Hauptstadt existiert nicht" [The
capital does not exist]. UniPress (in German) (UniPress 152: Die
Hauptstatdtregion). Berne: University of Berne: 16–19.
doi:10.7892/boris.41280 (inactive 2017-08-26). Als 1848 ein
politisch-administratives Zentrum für den neuen Bundesstaat zu
bestimmen war, verzichteten die Verfassungsväter darauf, eine
Hauptstadt der Schweiz zu bezeichnen und formulierten stattdessen in
Artikel 108: «Alles, was sich auf den Sitz der Bundesbehörden
bezieht, ist Gegenstand der Bundesgesetzgebung.» Die Bundesstadt ist
also nicht mehr und nicht weniger als der Sitz der
Missing or empty title= (help)
^ "Population size and population composition – Data, indicators –
Agglomerations: Permanent resident population in urban and rural
areas". www.bfs.admin.ch (Statistics). Federal Statistical Office,
Neuchâtel, Swiss Federal Administration. 2015. Retrieved
^ "Office fédéral du développement territorial ARE – B3: Les
aires métropolitaines". www.are.admin.ch (in French, German, and
Italian). Federal Office for Spatial Development ARE. 7 June 2006.
p. 4. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 October 2013.
Retrieved 17 April 2014.
^ "''Quality of Living global city rankings – Mercer survey''".
Mercer.com. Archived from the original on 2 May 2014. Retrieved 26
^ Andres Kristol (ed.): Lexikon der schweizerischen Gemeindenamen.
Frauenfeld 2005, ISBN 3-7193-1308-5, p. 143.
^ Bern: Development of the settlement and the population in German,
French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
^ municipal statistics, includes 6,816 weekend commuters not
included in the federal statistics of 123,466."Archived copy".
Archived from the original on 26 November 2010. Retrieved 8 December
^ a b Swiss Federal Statistical Office-Land Use Statistics 2009 data
(in German) accessed 25 March 2010
Bern 1981-2010 Averages" (PDF). Retrieved 30 August 2017.
Bern 1981-2010 Averages" (PDF). Retrieved 30 August 2017.
^ "August 2003". Retrieved 30 August 2017.
Bern 1981-2010 Averages" (PDF). Retrieved 30 August 2017.
^ "Annual Average Maximum". Retrieved 30 August 2017.
Bern 1981-2010 Averages" (PDF). Retrieved 30 August 2017.
Bern 1981-2010 Averages" (PDF). Retrieved 30 August 2017.
^ "February 1929". Retrieved 30 August 2017.
^ "Annual Average Minimum". Retrieved 30 August 2017.
^ "Climate Normals
Zollikofen (Reference period 1981−2010)"
(PDF). Zurich-Airport, Switzerland: Swiss Federal Office of Metreology
and Climatology, MeteoSwiss. 2 July 2014. Retrieved 3 April
Bern extreme values". KNMI. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
^ a b c "Gemeinderat" (official site) (in German). Berne, Switzerland:
Stadtkanzlei, Stabsstelle des Gemeinderats, Stadt Bern. 16 January
2016. Retrieved 2017-01-17.
^ "Aktuelles aus dem Stadtrat" (official site) (in German). Berne,
Switzerland: Stadt Bern. Retrieved 2015-12-18.
^ "Zusammensetzung im Rat" (in German). Berne, Switzerland: Stadt
Bern. 9 September 2015. Retrieved 2015-12-18.
^ "Nationalratswahlen 2015: Stärke der Parteien und Wahlbeteiligung
nach Gemeinden" (official statistics) (in German and French).
Neuchâtel, Switzerland: Swiss Federal Statistical Office. 4 March
2016. Archived from the original (XLS) on 2 August 2016. Retrieved 3
^ "EURO 2008 – Partnerschaft von Stadt und Kanton
Bern sowie mit
Stadt und Land Salzburg". www.bern.ch (in German). Abteilung
Kommunikation und Amt für Information,
City of Berne. 30 May 2006.
Retrieved 6 April 2014. …in einer gemeinsamen Erklärung die Absicht
bekundet, mittels einer zeitlich befristeten Partnerschaft zwischen
den Städten und Ländern…
^ "Interpellation Fraktion SP/JUSO Andreas Flückiger/Markus Lüthi,
SP): Das orange Wunder von Bern: Diese Freundschaft muss gepflegt
werden! Was können wir tun?". www.bern.ch (in German). Der
Gemeinderat (Municipal Council). 22 October 2008. Archived from the
original on 30 November 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2014. Bisher hat
Bern bewusst auf eine Städtepartnerschaft verzichtet
^ a b c d e f g Swiss Federal Statistical Office Archived 5 January
2016 at the Wayback Machine. accessed 23-January-2012
^ a b c d e STAT-TAB Datenwürfel für Thema 40.3 – 2000
Archived 9 August 2013 at the Wayback Machine. (in German) accessed 2
^ Statistical office of the canton of
Bern (in German) accessed 4
^ Swiss Federal Statistical Office STAT-TAB – Datenwürfel für
Thema 09.2 – Gebäude und Wohnungen Archived 7 September 2014
at the Wayback Machine. (in German) accessed 28 January 2011
^ Swiss Federal Statistical Office-Rental prices 2003 data (in German)
accessed 26 May 2010
^ a b
Bern in German, French and Italian in the online Historical
Dictionary of Switzerland.
City of bears receives Russian bruins". swissinfo.ch. 16 September
City Council of
Bern minutes of the 14 May 1998 5:00PM session
accessed 23 November 2008 (in German)
^ Hofer, 281
^ "Kantonsliste A-Objekte". KGS Inventar (in German). Federal Office
of Civil Protection. 2009. Archived from the original on 28 June 2010.
Retrieved 25 April 2011.
^ "Stadttheater Bern". Retrieved 12 April 2009.
^ "Narrenpack Theatre Bern". Retrieved 12 April 2009.
^ "Schlachthaus Theatre Bern". Retrieved 12 April 2009.
^ "Das Theatre an der Effingerstrasse". Retrieved 12 April 2009.
^ "Theater am Käfigturm". Retrieved 12 April 2009.
^ Merk, Martin (12 March 2015). "Swiss stay top:
SC Bern number one in
European attendance ranking".
^ Swiss Federal Statistical Office STAT-TAB Betriebszählung:
Arbeitsstätten nach Gemeinde und NOGA 2008 (Abschnitte), Sektoren
1–3 Archived 25 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine. (in German)
accessed 28 January 2011
^ a b Swiss Federal Statistical Office – Statweb (in German)
accessed 24 June 2010
^ EDK/CDIP/IDES (2010). Kantonale Schulstrukturen in der Schweiz und
im Fürstentum Liechtenstein / Structures Scolaires Cantonales en
Suisse et Dans la Principauté du Liechtenstein (PDF) (Report).
Retrieved 24 June 2010.
^ Schuljahr 2009/10 pdf document(in German) accessed 4 January 2012
^ Swiss Federal Statistical Office, list of libraries (in German)
accessed 14 May 2010
^ Noëmi Landolt (2011-11-10). "Die pragmatische Brückenbauerin" (in
WOZ Die Wochenzeitung
WOZ Die Wochenzeitung 45/2011. Retrieved 2016-04-16.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bern.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Bern.
Wikisource has the text of the 1879
American Cyclopædia article Bern.
Bern Public Transportation Website (BernMobil)
Bern (Gemeinde) in German, French and Italian in the online Historical
Dictionary of Switzerland, 2016-11-10.
City of Bern". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007.
Retrieved 2006-04-23. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown
City of Bern
See also: Bern
Canton of Bern
Municipalities in the Bern-Mittelland administrative district,
Bremgarten bei Bern
Deisswil bei Münchenbuchsee
Muri bei Bern
Wohlen bei Bern
Canton of Bern
Districts of Canton Bern
Municipalities of the canton of Bern
Capitals of Swiss cantons
Herisau, Appenzell Ausserrhoden
Appenzell, Appenzell Innerrhoden
St. Gallen, St. Gallen
Switzerland by population
Capitals of European states and territories
Capitals of dependent territories and states whose sovereignty is
disputed shown in italics.
Andorra la Vella, Andorra
Douglas, Isle of Man (UK)
London, United Kingdom
Saint Helier, Jersey (UK)
Saint Peter Port, Guernsey (UK)
Longyearbyen, Svalbard (Norway)
Mariehamn, Åland Islands (Finland)
Nuuk, Greenland (Denmark)
Olonkinbyen, Jan Mayen (Norway)
Tórshavn, Faroe Islands (Denmark)
Prague, Czech Republic
Gibraltar, Gibraltar (UK)
North Nicosia, Northern Cyprus4, 5
San Marino, San Marino
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Vatican City, Vatican City
Stepanakert, Artsakh4, 5
Sukhumi, Abkhazia3, 5
Tskhinvali, South Ossetia3, 5
1 Also the capital of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
2 Also the seat of the European Union, see Institutional seats of
European Union and
Brussels and the European Union
3 Transcontinental country
4 Entirely in Southwest Asia but having socio-political
connections with Europe
5 Partially recognised country
World Heritage Sites in Switzerland
Lavaux Vineyard Terraces
La Chaux-de-Fonds / Le Locle
City of Bern
Convent of St. Gall
Convent of St. Johann
Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes2
Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona
Monte San Giorgio
Castles, Wall and Ramparts of Bellinzona
Prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps3
The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier1
1 Shared with other region/s
2 Shared with Italy
3 Shared with Austria, France, Germany,
Italy and Slovenia
ISNI: 0000 0001 0941 5921