Our heritage
Old City of Berne

Brigitte Witschi

Perfumer and creator of the fragrance "aarewasser"

What is your role in this World Heritage site?
I work as a perfumer in the old city of Bern and have a studio under the beautiful arcades of the city. Many Bernese come and go to my studio to get perfumed and to try new scents in peace and quiet. I created my own perfumes as a tribute to Bern: the fragrance "aarewasser" is very popular and Bern is the only city in Switzerland to have its own fragrance collection.

What is your relationship with the city?
I love Bern, there is a quiet and welcoming atmosphere here. Especially the alleys in the old town are small oases where everyone knows everyone. I also like to go to the tasty restaurants in the lower old town and let myself be pampered culinally.

What's your favorite place? Can you tell us some secrets?
One of my favourite places is definitely the banks of the Aare: it's so nice to watch this peaceful flow of the Aare and let your thoughts wander. The Botanical Garden is also a wonderful place to linger, an oasis in the heart of the city. The Münsterplattform is also one of my favourite places: it still has some of the hippie groove of '68, and it has a cosy little bar for coffee and chatting.

When is the best time to visit this site and why?
I find Bern special in the winter time with the Christmas lights and when it snows it's really a fairytale. Of course the city is also unique and lively in summer with the "Aareschwumm". (swim in the Aare) and the city has a Mediterranean atmosphere with numerous street cafes. I also like it when the whole old town is decorated with red geraniums.

What activities do you recommend in particular?
I think Bern has something unique to offer all year round: the colourful weekly market, exciting city tours, excursions to the local mountains. Or simply strolling and shopping under the arcades. It's also nice to enjoy the sunset from the Rosengarten or have a drink under the large trees in the garden of the Historic Museum. I love Bern!!!!!

March 2020