Bern, the capital of Switzerland, is a charming city located in Western Switzerland. The city offers stunning views of the Alps and “Old City” is a picturesque example of medieval architecture in Europe. There are a wide variety of restaurants in Bern serving local, Italian, and international cuisine.
The Zentrum Paul Klee is dedicated to the life and work of Klee (1879–1940). His work is associated with expressionism, cubism and surrealism. Inspired by his friendship with Wassily Kandinsky, Klee became a member of Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), an expressionist group that greatly contributed to the development of abstract art. The museum exhibits are comprised of a vast collection of paintings, drawings, watercolors, and puppets, as well as biographical material, and archives.
The Museum of Fine Arts (Kunstmuseum Bern) houses an impressive permanent collection of works by famous artists such as Klee, Kandinsky, Picasso, Matisse, Pollock, Rothko, Cézanne, Modigliani, Giacometti, and Miró. The museum also has a wide selection of works by Swiss artists such as Anker and Hodler on display, as well as a smaller compilation of contemporary art.
The Historical Museum of Bern contains several permanent exhibitions including the Stone Age, Celts and Romans exhibit, American Indians exhibit, art from Asia and Oceania, artifacts from ancient Egyptian tombs, Burgundian tapestries, European silverware from the 16th-18th centuries, and a historical collection chronicling Switzerland’s past from the early Middle Ages to the Ancien Régime.
The Kursaal Bern is a modern congress center located just outside of “Old City” Bern. Comprised of 23 rooms that can accommodate up to 1500 persons it is the largest congress center in the Bern area. It is an ideal facility for a wide range of events and is equipped with state-of-the-art media and communications technology. The Kursaal Bern also encompasses the luxurious Hotel Allegro, the Grand Casino Bern and two fine restaurants, the Meridiano and Allegretto.
The original medieval street plan and architecture of "Old City" Bern have remained essentially unaltered over the past 500 years. Framed by the Aare River, the cobbled streets are lined with arcaded sandstone buildings. The Berne Minster (Bern Cathedral) dates from the late Middle Ages and was primarily built according to the original plans of master builder Matthäus Ensinger from Strasbourg. Its splendid decor includes stained glass, sculpture and a gothic portal with magnificent iconography. The Zytglogge (Clock tower), the first western city gate tower, contains the famous astronomical and musical clock with mechanical figures set in motion each hour by a clock mechanism within the tower. The Käfigturm (Prison Tower), the second western city gate tower, was built from 1256 to 1344 and was used as a prison from 1641 to 1643, continuing as such until 1897. Eleven fountains dating from the 16th century feature their original statues of allegorical figures and illustrate the wealth of the bourgeoisie during that time. "Old City" Bern was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993.
Schilthorn’s peak reaches 2,971m and offers a panoramic view of the surrounding Alps including Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau from the revolving Restaurant Piz Gloria. The view of mountain peaks, glaciers and lakes extends to Mont-Blanc and Germany’s Black Forest. Schilthorn was one of the locations on which James Bond’s “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” was filmed in the late 1960’s.