Bern - the ancient capital in the heart of Switzerland

Bern, the most ancient and peaceful city, is truly an unmissable tourist destination in Switzerland. Although being not as glamorous or magnificent as other European capitals, Bern gives visitors a sense of closeness and intimacy.

Being not as busy as Zurich and not a diplomacy-politics center like Geneva, the peaceful capital of Bern located amidst the peaceful Aare River is a distinctive highlight of Switzerland. 

"Bern" means bear in German, so it is easy to see the lovely bears appear on flags, badges and symbols throughout the city. The bear also becomes the mascot for this city. 

There are not many skyscrapers here. It is the quiet space where the ancient dome houses and the cool streets covered with green trees attract the tourists all over the world. 

With an age of 800 years, Bern is ancient but not old, like the watch on the Clock Tower Bern, which has still run after 800 years. 

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 A peaceful ancient city 

The city has changed a lot. There appear lots of luxurious cars and crowded streets. However, to remain the original ancient beauty, the residents are not allowed to drive cars in the city. Instead, bicycles and electric bicycles are the preferred means of transportation for residents. 

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To emphasize the meaning of the city name, Bern has an area for real bears. The city's bear areas are at the end of the old quarter, and the bears' charms and cuteness can melt the hearts of all visitors. 

The capital of cultural heritage 

On Switzerland, many would think of expensive watches made entirely by hand, and the watch becomes one of the symbols of the country. The Swiss are always proud that the Swiss watches are the "most accurate clocks in the world." 

Bern also owns a special watch, despite its 800 years old, this watch is still running accurately and durably. 

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It is the Zytglogge Clock Tower. Being more than 50 meters high, the clock tower stands on the Marktgasse road. Built at the same time as Bern, the clock tower was originally used to protect the city of Bern. It used to be the prisoner's home. 

At 12 noon, all the visitors gathered at the bottom of the tower to listen to the bell as well as the appearance of mischievous puppies jumping out from within the clock face. 

So far, the clock on the tower has turned 827, but no one has explained why after so many years it still runs exactly like that. 

Other attractions of Bern are the fountains. The most prominent is the Zahringer fountain built in the 16th century. Although it has gone through ups and downs, it still retains its original architecture. 

By: Christina Baker

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