If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that my favourite Swiss city is Bern. We take everyone who comes to visit us in Switzerland here, and I’m so happy to have passed on my love of Bern to my mom. She just has to visit Bern every time she comes to visit us. Thus, I thought that with the number of visits to Bern that we have, I know the city centre like the back of my hand. How could I have been so wrong! On a recent guided tour of the old town, which is designed for children, I learned such a load of interesting information that I am extremely excited to pass it on.
NOTE: This post was written in cooperation with the Bern Tourist Office. We were invited to take part in a guided tour for children. All opinions are entirely my own.
Guided tour of Bern’s old town for children
The guided children’s tour presents Bern not only as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but also as a city full of narrow streets, hidden corners, mysterious symbols and historical attractions.
As I said, I thought I knew enough about Bern, but our lovely guide, Therese Caruso, proved me wrong. Of course I knew that Duke Berchtold of Zähringen was the founder of Bern, and that Bern is named after the animal he hunted (luckily it wasn’t a duck, right?), but I had absolutely no idea that he also had a castle in Bern. And why is it no longer standing here? Why is it only the well, which is the oldest in the city, left?
I also knew that the centre of Bern, with its six kilometres of arcades called “Lauben”, is the longest covered shopping mall in Europe. But I didn’t know where to find the shortest arcade and the highest arcade arch. Do you know?
I also knew that after the great fire in 1405, Bern was rebuilt entirely from sandstone, which was mined in nearby Krauchthal, among other places. But I certainly didn’t know how the stones for building the city were transported to Bern.
And that the Nydeggbrücke bridge over the River Aare from 1844 was the bridge with the largest stone arch in Europe at the time? The customs houses on it still remind us that the medieval town resembled a fortress. The town gate also stood nearby.
And the next time you pass by the local cathedral Münster, look up and look carefully at the gargoyles. Maybe you’ll find one that’s showing his a** off 😀 Do you know why? And do you know where you can find hidden little stone animals and where you can rub one for luck?
So mom, next time you come, you already know that all these questions that you might not have thought of, you will get interesting answers from our children, which they got during the tour 🙂
The meeting point for the tour is in front of the restaurant Altes Tramdepot (Grosser Muristalden 6, 3006 Bern), the tour lasts about 90 minutes.
You can find them on the website, generally on Wednesdays and Sundays, you can choose either in German or in French, always starting at 14:30. It is advisable to make a reservation as the number of participants is limited (can be booked online, by phone at +41 31 328 12 12 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Adults CHF 25,00
AHV/IV/students CHF 20,00
Child (6-16 years) CHF 12,00
Every second child is free