The city of Bern or Berneis the Bundesstadt (federal city)in fact the capital of Switzerland and the capital of the Canton of Bern, the second most populous of Switzerland’s cantons.Its about 138,000 inhabitants make Bern the fifth most populous city in Switzerland. The Bern agglomeration, including 43 municipalities, has a population of 356,000whilst the metropolitan area had a population of 660,000 in 2000.Bern is ranked among the world’s top ten cities for the best quality of life (2010).
The main spoken language in Bern/Berne is an Alemannic Swiss German dialect called Bernese German, the official language being German.
The Old City of Bern is the medieval city centre of Bern and it is a UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Site since 1983,showing an excellent example of incorporating the modern world into a medieval city. The Münster of Bern (German: Berner Münster) is a Protestant Gothic cathedral located on the south side of the peninsula, having the tallest and the largest bell tower in Switzerland. The Zytglogge clock is one of the three oldest clocks in Switzerland consisting of a clockwork connected to a hammer that rings a small bell at every full hour.
The Federal Palace (Bundeshaus) houses the Swiss Federal Assembly (federal parliament) and the Federal Council and it was built between 1857 and 1902.
The Rose Garden (Rosengarten), a well-kept Rosarium on a hill, converted into a park from a former cemetery in 1913 offers a panoramic view of the medieval town centre.
The city of Bern houses over 100 public fountains,originally built as a public water supply.Created during 16th century, eleven of them are crowned with Renaissance allegorical statues. Except one, they represent the opera of the Fribourg master Hans Gieng.
The Dählhölzli Zoo is the public zoo in Bern exhibiting about 3,000 animals on 15 ha.
In Bern is also located the Universal Postal Union.
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