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Bern in brief

The City of Bern looks back on more than 800 years of history. It was founded by the Dukes of Zähringen in 1191. It joined the «Swiss Confederation in 1353 and was chosen as the capital city of the Confederation» in 1848. During the 20th century, Bern developed into a modern service centre, accommodating the headquarters of international organisations and companies.

Bern - Capital City

Image caption:

The Federal Palace
© Bern Tourism

As capital city and seat of the parliament, government and administration at all three state levels, Bern is a unique place in Switzerland.

High quality of life

Important garantees for a high quality of life in Bern are a sustainable politics, an old town designated by «UNESCO as a World Heritage Site» and the picturesque location at the bend of the river «Aare». Locals as well as the numerous guests from all over the world appreciate this.

A major business location in the Espace-Mittelland

The «business area of Bern» (agglomeration) employs more than 200 000 people - mainly in the health, IT, communication, transport and general service sectors, including the public administration. Bern is also the centre of the «Espace-Mittelland region», which comprises a population of around 385 000 and 264 000 places of work.

City of culture

The City of Bern has a rich, varied range of cultural activities on offer, like the «City Theatre», the «Art Museum», the «Paul Klee Centre», the «History Museum» and the «Symphony Orchestra», but also smaller performances, galleries and theatres.

Sporting city par excellence

Sport is very popular in Bern, not only because it is home to the top clubs «Young Boys Bern and «SC Bern. Bern has also made a name for itself as a venue for international sporting events. In 2008 it was one of the cities hosting the «EURO 2008 football European Championship» and in 2009 the «ice hockey world championships» were successfully held here. In January 2011 Bern was host to the «ISU Ice Skating European Championship».

Top location for Education and Science

Bern is also known internationally as a centre of science and research, particularly in the fields of cutting-edge technology, climate and medicine. Public education ranges from kindergarten to university level and there are also numerous private education and training institutions.

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