Bern is an amazing and unique city located on the Aare River banks in the southern part of the Swiss Plateau. Its special status makes it unique. We have known it from school that the capital of Switzerland is Bern, but de jure, this country has no capital at all. Yes, Parliament and the Federal Council are indeed situated, but officially, all the major cities in the cantons are equal. If you forget about the bureaucratic issues and look at the city through the eyes of a tourist, you will be absolutely delighted: old cobbled streets, neat "gingerbread" houses with tiled roofs, majestic churches, and, of course, the Alps, which fascinate with their beauty. Bern welcomes its guests with a measured rhythm of life and serenity, distinguishing it from other European capitals.
Bern is divided into six districts: Innere Stadt, Länggasse Felsenau, Mattenhof-Weissenbühl, Kirchenfeld-Schosshalde, Breitenrain-Lorraine, and Bümpliz-Oberbottigen. Unlike most other European capitals, it is better to rent accommodation in the center of Bern, where it is cheaper, and you can get to the sights quickly.
Bern is not one of those towns that try to surprise tourists only with old architecture and earn credit on the merits of past generations. Here you will find wonderful modern galleries, museums, theaters, and, of course, all this is complemented by the atmosphere of history, which literally hangs in the air.
Over the past couple of years, Bern's population has grown rapidly, from 131,550 people in 2015 to more than 1 million in 2018. This rapid growth is due to a large number of immigrants from the Middle East. However, it is still safe to stay and live in Bern. Very few real locals are left, but you can recognize them even in a crowd by their slower reactions and movements. They do everything leisurely and enjoy every minute of life in their beloved city.
The first mention of the city dates back to 1208. Scientists agree that the region was inhabited during the Celtic period in the Iron Age or the so-called La Tène period. Many of the finds from the Celtic settlements date back to the end of the II century BC. They also found here many burials of the Middle Ages. At the time of ancient Rome, there was a Gallo-Roman quarter, which was abandoned over time (165 -211 AD).
The city was officially founded in the XII century by King Berthold V of Burgundy, and the year of foundation is listed as 1191. The region began to grow rapidly, and during those times, it bore the unofficial name of Rich. After the king's death, the possessions passed to Emperor Frederick II, and Bern itself received the status of an imperial city.
In 1353, it declared its complete independence from the political and financial life of the empire. The local inhabitants had to fight for their freedom for 35 years. Only in 1389, the empire recognized the independence of Bern.
In the XV century, the city survived a great fire that almost wiped it off the face of the earth. Local residents, rebuilding the city, abandoned the wooden buildings, replacing them with half-timbered houses and buildings made of sandstone.
In the XVIII century, the French army occupied Bern, and it lost part of its lands. In 1848, Bern was declared the seat of the Swiss Parliament and became the de facto capital of the state.
Modern Bern is considered one of the attractive cities of Old Europe and annually attracts tourists, in particular to the ski resorts of the Alps.