Berne, Switzerland Postcard
The city of Bern or Berne is the Bundesstadt (federal city, de facto capital) of Switzerland, and, with about 130,000 people, the fourth most populous city in Switzerland. The Bern agglomeration, which includes 43 municipalities, has a population of 349,000. Bern is also the capital of the Canton of Bern, the second most populous of Switzerland's cantons. ----------- The official language of Bern is German. The spoken language is the Swiss German dialect Bernese German. ------- The historic centre of Bern has been featured in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1983, and Bern is among the world’s top ten cities for the best quality of life.-------The structure of Bern's city centre is largely mediaeval and has been recognised by UNESCO as a Cultural World Heritage Site. Perhaps its most famous sight is the Zytglogge (Bernese German for "Time Bell"), an elaborate mediaeval clock tower with moving puppets. It also has an impressive 15th century Gothic cathedral, the Münster, and a 15th century town hall. Thanks to 6 kilometres of arcades, the old town boasts one of the longest covered shopping promenades in Europe.-------The Zytglogge tower is a landmark mediaeval tower in Bern, Switzerland. Built in the early 13th century, it has served the city as guard tower, prison, clock tower, centre of urban life and civic memorial. Despite the many redecorations and renovations it has undergone in its 800 years of existence, the Zytglogge is one of Bern's most recognisable symbols and, with its 15th-century astronomical clock, a major tourist attraction. It is a heritage site of national significance, and part of the Old City of Bern, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site.