Zytglogge (Clock Tower)

As the clock prepares to strike the hour, large groups gather in front of the Clock Tower in Bern’s Old Town to watch the one-of-a-kind performance that always takes place at this moment. The mechanical figures, including a parade of bears, a jester, a golden rooster and Chronos, the god of time, enthrall visitors young and old from far and near.
In the tower’s interior, however, time seems to stand still. Medieval clockwork mechanisms, thick stone walls and massive wooden beams take visitors on a journey into the past.
Those who make it up the 130 steps inside the structure are rewarded with a breathtaking view of the UNESCO World Heritage Site with its tiled roofs, terraces and narrow lanes. When the sky is clear, you can see all the way to the peaks of the Bernese Oberland.

Zytglogge (Clock Tower) Tour

If you want a closer look behind the thick walls of the Clock Tower, the tour designed especially for this purpose is your best choice, because visitors may only enter the tower’s interior with a guide. Participants will hear many exciting and interesting facts about the clockwork and the story behind this historical monument.

Prisons, City Fires and Astronomical Clocks

The unique clockwork of the Zytglogge
The tower’s outstanding features are the astrolabium – an astronomical calendar clock – and the musical mechanism installed in 1530.
Right before the clock strikes the hour a crowing rooster announces the start of an entertaining spectacle. Bears dance their hourly routine, a jester jokingly signals the hour too early, the quarter-hour chimes are heard from the tower, and Chronos, the god of time, turns his hourglass over. The golden figure of Hans von Thann finally strikes the hour in time with Chronos’ swinging scepter.
The hands of the astrolabium move somewhat more slowly but just as precisely. The discs of the astronomical calendar clock are artfully arranged above the Clock Tower’s entrance. Both fixed and rotating spheres form an exact replica of the constellations with the earth in the center. Sun, moon and stars circle our planet in the orbits we recognize from the earth’s vantage point.
The complex display of the northern hemisphere always shows the current zodiac sign, the moon’s phase, the time of sunrise and sunset, and the date. Frescoes of the five planetary gods from Roman mythology adorn the space above the astrolabium.



An astrolabe is an elaborate inclinometer, historically used by astronomers and navigators to measure the altitude above the horizon of a celestial body, day or night. It can be used to identify stars or planets, to determine local latitude given local time, to survey, or to triangulate. Wikipedia

Water is very important spiritually and plays a huge role in the magick workings.  BERN is not only surrounded by a river it contains flowing fountains all throughout the city. 
Bern has well over 100 fountains, eleven of which still retain the original beautiful allegorical figures. The Kindlifresserbrunnen, or child-eating fountain, is particularly interesting   Source: UNESCO
You will also find ARCHES all over BERN.
Aare River underneath the Nydegg Bridge, Bern, Switzerland
Photo Credit: RickSteves.com


Stately but human, classy but fun, the Swiss capital is the most rewarding place to experience urban Switzerland. Window-shop along streets lined with cozy, covered arcades, and people-watch in the lively market square. Enjoy Bern’s excellent museums, quaint-for-a-capital ambience, and delightful river scene. Its pointy towers, sandstone buildings, colorful fountains, and riverside setting make Bern one of Europe’s finest surviving medieval towns.   – Rick Steves

In this next photo note the architecture… ARCHES are very significant and have a huge affect in the spiritual.  I don’t have time to cover that here.  BUT RESEARCH IT!!!!

Bern’s typical streets, lanes and buildings have exciting stories to tell, and in the midst of them all in the Old Town one of the city’s best-known landmarks stands high above the rest: the Zytglogge (Clock Tower). Once a city gate, the Clock Tower now attracts spectators from all over the world.

2. Zentrum Paul Klee

Zentrum Paul Klee

In Bern’s eastern outskirts is a phenomenal modern museum for one of the most influential artists of the early 20th century.
Klee was born just outside Bern and went to Gymnasium in the city.
In 1997 his daughter donated all of her inheritance to the city, and Renzo Piano was hired to design a museum for these works.
Looking like an oscillating wave, the museum opened in 2005 and after later donations now has around 40% of Klee’s entire oeuvre, beginning with childhood sketches and continuing through his Expressionist, Cubist and Surrealist periods.
Klee’s paintings are presented in ever-changing temporary shows on set themes, so no two visits to the centre will be the same.

3. Bern Cathedral

Bern Cathedral

Switzerland’s tallest cathedral went up gradually during the 15th and 16th centuries. 
The single spire soars to more than 100 metres and unless you’re a bit squeamish about heights you should have no hesitation conquering the 400-odd steps to view the distant, snow-capped Alps. But before you do that, the Last Judgement will greet you as you enter.
Not literally the end of the world: This is the astonishing set-piece on the main portal, held as one of Europe’s greatest groups of Late Gothic sculpture.

In the tympanum you’ll see how the wicked are separated from the virtuous by the Archangel Michael, while Jesus, Mary and the Apostles look down from the archivolts. Inside you can admire the 16th-century carved choir stalls and the “Dance of Death” stained glass window from around the same time.

4. Gurten


If you’re in Bern for more than a day you have to plan a few hours on the slopes of Bern’s own hill, Gurten.  
There’s a funicular that you catch from by the Aare in Waben. 
This has been serving the 858-metre hill since 1899 and gets to the top in just five minutes. 
Summer means hiking, a ride on the miniature railway for little ones, barbecues and other good times outdoors, while a toboggan run is available if there’s sufficient snow in winter. 
Mid-July is time for the Gurtenfestival, which continues to grow and in the last few editions has booked artists like Muse, Patti Smith and Massive Attack.

5. Bern Historical Museum

Bern Historical Museum

Switzerland’s second largest institution in this field, the Bern Historical Museum handles historical and ethnographical collections going back to the Stone Age. 
These are housed in a Neo-Renaissance edifice, which has a modern extension for temporary exhibitions. 
Among the highlights of the vast and varied permanent displays are spoils of war: There’s set of tapestries taken from Burgundy in the 1400s and 1500s, and the bewitching Königsfelden Diptych, composed in Venice for the King of Hungary at the end of the 13th century. 
The integrated Einstein Museum is a must-see, containing lots of footage, photography and objects illustrating his time in Bern when he devised his Theory of Relativity.

6. Bundeshaus


In Switzerland’s capital you have to make time for the Swiss Federal Assembly. 
After all, we’re talking one of the world’s oldest democracies. 
The Bundeshaus was completed in stages throughout the second half of the 19th century. 
If you want to see inside you’ll need to book in advance as the tours fill up quickly. 
Your knowledgeable guide will bombard you with interesting facts about the Swiss federal government, its founding myths and Bern’s 150 years as capital. 
The interior is even more impressive than the dominant Neo-Renaissance facade, and bursts sculpture, stained glass and carved wood. 
In front, on the Bundesplatz is a popular fountain with 26 jets, each one symbolising one of Switzerland’s Cantons.

7. BärenPark


Cross the Aare from the Old Town and you’ll find yourself in the company of three brown bears. 
Bern has long had an affection for bears, and the animal was adopted as an emblem as long ago as the 12th century. 
Bern has kept its own bears since at least the 16th century, and they were moved to this park on the opposite bank of the Aare in 1857. The habitat was modernised in 2009, when a new space was opened next to the original pit. 
The two enclosures are linked by a tunnel, and even allow the bears to take dips in the river. 
If you’re hesitant about animals in captivity you’ll be cheered by the all the room the three inhabitants have and how healthy they look.

8. Rosengarten


The city’s rose garden is on high ground, close to the BärenPark and with a very satisfying vista of Bern’s Old Town from the right bank of the Aare. 
Families, friends and couples come to meet up and take picnics with Bern at their feet. 
This piece of open land was a cemetery up to 1913, and the first of its roses were planted in 1917. Spring and early summer are the most beautiful times, when ithe223 rose and 200 iris species are in flower. 
The rose garden also has 23 rhododendron species that flower in May, as well as a graceful pond with lilies that bloom in July.

9. Museum of Fine Arts

Museum Of Fine Arts

The oldest art museum in the country opened its doors in 1879 in a purpose-built Eclecticist hall. 
The earliest pieces are from the middle ages and the museum grazes over host of movements up to the present day. 
In the collection there are 3,000 paintings and sculptures as well as almost 50,000 photographs, prints, sketches and pieces of video art. 
There’s a batch of works by the Symbolist Ferdinand Hodler, and Expressionism is well-represented by Paul Klee, Franz Marc, Kandinsky, August Macke and Alexej von Jawlensky. 
The museum made the news recently when it was unexpectedly bequeathed a cache of 1,400 works by the German collector Cornelius Gurlitt. 
The only drawback is that a great deal are likely to have been stolen by the Nazis in the 30s and 40s.

11. Museum für Kommunikation

Museum Für Kommunikation

Just off Helvetiaplatz is the only museum in Switzerland on the subject of communication. 
Its origins lie in a post museum founded in 1907, and there’s still an exhibition on this topic, explaining the postal network and showing historic coaches and postage stamps. 
There’s also some archive correspondence, like authentic letters sent by Paul von Hindenburg. 
Another exhibition deals with “media” , and teems with interactive audiovisual displays.
And there’s an extensive area for telecommunications, complete with early telephones, telegraphs where you can decipher Morse code and vacuum tubes for sending messages.

12. Einsteinhaus


A nice complement to the Historical Museum, this minor attraction holds the second floor flat where Einstein lived from 1903 to 1905. He shared this modest abode with his wife Mileva Marić and son Hans Albert while he was employed at the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property. 
While living here Einstein wrote his Annus Mirabilis papers, which changed the way we understand the universe. 
On the second floor the flat has been recreated with contemporary architecture, while there’s more of a scientific theme on the floor above. 
This exhibition looks into the theories he developed in Bern, and has a timeline of his life.