SWITZERLAND is home to four world cultural heritages, one of which is the old town of Bern. This federal administrative capital falls under The Unesco World Cultural Heritage Site, a list that registers places of exceptional beauty and universal value worldwide.
Founded in 1191, this German-speaking Swiss capital boasts a captivating townscape that has been able to retain its medieval beauty and remain virtually unchanged for centuries from its flower-bedecked fountains, picturesque houses, historic towers and bridges to attractive arcades, cobbled streets and wine cellars.
The focal of attraction in Bern is its 13th century clock tower, a medieval mechanical centrepiece that has been standing in the centre of the city for centuries.
The clock's most noteworthy features are its figure-play with characters such as rooster, bears, lion and jester, and its Astronomical clock.
The clock used to be referred to as the official time after which all the other clocks in the city and its surrounding areas were set, while the distances of surrounding roads were measured from the tower.
There are also 11 historic fountains in Bern, all of which are fashioned from stone and bronze, with tall pillars and colourfully painted statutes, which have been gracing the city since the 16th century. These artistic fountains, erected about 1550 in place of earlier wooden ones, show clearly the wealth of the old Bernese community.
Bern offers 16 museums, including the Einstein House where physicist Albert Einstein lived from 1902 to 1907 while lecturing at the University of Bern and published 32 scientific works, including his most-famous The Theory of Relativity.
Home to about 130,000 people, this charming town, with the vastly clean Aare River flowing through it, was once voted Europes most floral city. It is also home to the Swiss parliament, which offers guided tours to tourists.