The obscure history of Bern

Bern is the capital of Switzerland. It’s located in the heart of Switzerland, with an international airport located close by, making it a very easy access location to visit. It has grown a lot since it was founded in 1191. While it has grown, it has left an incredibly vast, rich and interesting history behind it. The old town here is even listed as a world heritage site.

History of Bern, Switzerland

Bern was named by the man who founded the country, Berchtold V. He decided to name the city after the first animal he met on the hunt, which happened to be a bear. To honour this, the people of the city decided that they needed to get some bears into the city. This led to the bear pit Bärengraben being built. It made a wonderful tourist attraction, although the bears were being mistreated, and very rarely got to eat meat. In 1903 they had a chance to eat a drunken man who fell in, but luckily he was rescued before they got a chance. In 2009 the bears had to be put down due to the bad conditions that they lived in. Barenpark was opened shortly after this. This was a much larger enclosure that joins to the original bear pit, and gives the bears that are now still there today a much better environment to live in, as well as proper care.

Bern’s more recent history

1998 Bern was even invaded by aliens. Invader is a French artist who has invaded many countries with mosaic graffiti, space invader graffiti. One of his most famous pieces was getting on the Hollywood sign. You’ll find many graffiti space invaders dotted around the town, you can even get a map of where Bern has been invaded from his website if you felt like taking a walk around the city and finding them all.

Albert Einstein lived in Bern

Einsteinhaus is the flat where Albert Einstein, his wife lived for 2 years(1903-1905). During this time their son, Hans was born. He’s said that some of the happiest years of his life were spent here, and you’ll find the flat left in almost exactly the way it was when he was living in it. His biography and works are displayed in the flat above this one. Einstein’s most famous theory of relativity was said to have been started in this flat.

The Kindlifresserbrunnen

A very mysterious piece of history to observe while in Bern. Built in 1546, it’s one of the oldest fountains in this city. The name translates to “The child eater” and this is exactly what he is doing. The statue shows a rather scary image of a man chomping down on a child’s head, with a few children in a sack over his shoulder for later. Around the bottom of the statue you’ll see bears in uniforms appearing to be going to war. No one is really sure why the statue was made; there are a few different theories about it though. It was possible; sadly, that it was made to depict the Jewish people, and another theory is that it was made to represent Cronus, the Greek titan that was said to eat children. It’s one of the stranger things that you’ll find in this lovely city.

About the Author

By Emma Buttery who loves getting off the beaten track while travelling. She recommends DirectLine Holidays for cheap holidays to Switzerland! Follow on twitter @travel_boots

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