Bern

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Coordinates: 46°57′N 7°27′E

Bern
Coat of Arms of Bern
Country Switzerland
Canton Bern
District Bern
Coordinates 46°57′N 7°27′E
Population 128041   (as of 2007)
Area 52 km2 (20 sq mi)
Elevation 542 m (1,778 ft)
Postal code 3000
SFOS number 0351
Mayor (list) Alexander Tschäppät (as of 2005) SPS
Demonym Berner
Surrounded by
(view map)
Bremgarten bei Bern, Frauenkappelen, Ittigen, Kirchlindach, Köniz, Mühleberg, Muri bei Bern, Neuenegg, Ostermundigen, Wohlen bei Bern, Zollikofen
Twin towns Salzburg (Austria)
Website www.bern.ch

Bern is the capital city of Switzerland. It is also the capital of the canton of Bern.

As of early 2006, 127.000 people live in the city.

History[change | change source]

Bern was started in 1191 by Berchthold V. von Zähringen. A legend says that he said he would name the city after the next animal he caught. So when he caught a bear (German: "Bär") the city was named Bern. Zähringen built the city in the half-circle the river Aare makes.

Traffic[change | change source]

Public streetcars and buses are run by an organization called BernMobil. There are 3 streetcar lines and about 15 bus lines. Most of the lines are in the city but some travel away from the city. There is also the Marzilibahn, a funicular (inclined- or cliff-railway) which goes from the banks of the Aare up to the Federal Building (German: "Bundeshaus"). The Marzilibahn is 105 meters long. It is the shortest funicular in Europe. Another funicular, called the Gurtenbahn, goes from the section of Bern called Wabern, which is on the river Aare, up to the top of Gurten, a large hill 585 meters high that is just south of Bern. A small airport, Belpmoos, is located a short distance south of Bern in Belp.

Folk Festivals[change | change source]

Zibelemärit (onion market)[change | change source]

Each year, on the 4th Monday in November, there is the Onion Market in Bern, where onions are sold. Many people visit the market in the early morning and throw confetti. They also hit other people with hammers made out of plastic

Aareleuchten (glowing Aare)[change | change source]

Since 1996, every August 1 (a national holiday in Switzerland) they hold the Aareleuchten. The Aareleuchten is paid for by SwissAid. During the festival, people put small ships with a light in them into the river Aare. All of these small lights make the Aare "glow."

Gallery[change | change source]