As you may remember, during our cruise on the Aare river last year we made a stop at the town of Büren an der Aare. So our boat just stopped here to pick up more tourists, so there was no room for a tour of this historic town. But I promised myself I would definitely come back to visit it later. The right time has come this Sunday: as the “Bürenlauf” run is approaching, and I wanted to “check out the terrain.” So we spent the late summer afternoon in this little town.
The atmosphere of the Sunday afternoon in Büren an der Aare copies the flow of the river beneath the local iconic wooden bridge – peaceful to lazy, calming and being a balm to the soul. So exactly what I think the atmosphere of Sunday afternoon should be 🙂
The town of Büren an der Aare lies about 30 km north of Bern. From the capital, you are here in about 30 minutes by car. You can also come here by bicycle, as Büren is at the crossroads of several cycling routes.
Palm-sized historic center
The historic town offers sightseeing on the very small area (really palmi-sized 🙂 ). We started our tour at Kreuzgasse, right in the historic center of the town, which has over 3,500 inhabitants. Here we also left the car in the parking lot (another parking option is at the railway station) and went for a walk.
Immediately after a few meters, we reached the fountain at Marktplatz. Not always the mighty trough of the Vennerbrunnen has stood on the lower part of the square. The fountain was moved here after a fountain renovation in 1985.
Immediately opposite the fountain stands the castle. It was built here at the beginning of the 17th century instead of the original four farmhouses. It served as the seat of a local bailiff. Today the building serves as the seat of several offices. Interesting are paintings on the front facade, which show four elements in the lower row and four seasons over them. Why is there a gorilla, I do not know 🙂
Altes Pfarrhaus – Old rectory
Along the Hauptgasse (the main street) we reached the former estate (today there is a bakery). Above the front door, you can read on the board that Bernhard Rudolf Studer, the founder of geophysics and geological sciences in Switzerland, was born here. The city church of St. Catherine, which dates back to the 12th century, is in the immediate vicinity.
When you walk through the Hauptgasse, I recommend raising your head and looking up – you will see not only interesting, almost artistically-styled signboards with various motifs (bear, lion, sun, shooter …), as well as forward-facing shields with pulleys. I admit I’ve seen this in the townhouses for the first time in my life. As my dear half told me, pulleys were used to pull up heavy things upstairs so they would not have to be carried upstairs.
By the river
Through the alleyway between the former rectory and the “Kornhaus” (granary), we came to the river Aare. This place was once a living business center. Ships full of cheese from Brienz, wine from Vaud and Alsace, salt from Burgundy, Bavaria and the Tyrol, wood from Fribourg were transported on the Aare and reloaded in Büren. Until the middle of the 19th century, the transport of goods on the river was more significant than on the road.
But the river was (and still is) used also for passenger transport. As I mentioned in the introduction, on cruise ships you can get from Biel to Solothurn.
An impressive dominant feature of Büren an der Aare is a 108-meter-long wooden bridge. The ninth wooden bridge, which stands in this place, was opened in 1991. The previous one was destroyed during the arson attack. One of the earlier ones was fired directly by the local in retreating before Napoleon’s troops.
Walk along the river
From this bridge, we wanted to walk through the “Three bridges walk”, as we found in the local tourist map. But unfortunately, Eybrücke is until 31.10. closed, so we just walked along the banks of the river back and forth.
While walking, we encountered some interesting sculptures on the waterfront. These are displayed here as a reminder of the sculpture symposium of 2016.
Hopefully, I’ve inspired you by this post to visit this picturesque little town. I know I did not mention all the local sights, but it’s up to you to discover them yourself! I’m looking forward to my next visit to the town on October 13. It will not be lazy Sunday afternoon, but quite another atmosphere 😉 But I believe it will be just as nice! And keep your fingers crossed for me, that I make the 11.5km long Bürenlauf run!
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*of course, I’m not so brilliant to have all the information about Büren an der Aare from my own head. Again, I have helped with the promotional materials of the local tourist office, which can be found at Hauptgasse 10 (in the Town Hall). You can also find information on the town’s website.