UNESCO World Heritage

Old City of Berne

A tour through the centuries

The city, founded in 1191, is enthroned on a peninsula high above the Aare and still bears witness today to the ambitious scale of urban development in medieval Europe. It is a positive example of how a medieval city structure can be retained and yet adapted to also meet contemporary requirements. With its impressive closed rows of houses, its attractive roof landscape, arcades, cellars, towers and fountains, which have largely retained their original form, the federal capital city invites you to go on a tour through the centuries. 

Factsheet
Date of Inscription

1983

Criteria for selection

III

Category

Cultural Heritage

Region

Berne

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Guided tour
Old City of Berne
The little alleys, baroque buildings and important sights of the medieval city tell an exciting story. Find out about Bern’s history on the classic UNESCO ...
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Good to know
Old City of Berne
Criterion (iii): The Old City of Berne is a positive example of a city that has conserved its medieval urban structure whilst responding, over time, to the ...
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Our heritage
Old City of Berne
What is your role in this World Heritage site? I worked for almost 30 years in Bern as a journalist for the BZ Berner Zeitung. So I know the place very well.  ...
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Our heritage
Old City of Berne
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 ...
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Our heritage
Old City of Berne
What is your role in this UNESCO World Heritage Site? For almost two decades I have been travelling to Bern as a city and clock tower guide for the Bern Welcome ...
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Our heritage
Old City of Berne
What is your role in this World Heritage site? As the judge of the Clock Tower, I have to make sure that the historical clock works continuously and as accurately ...
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Educational material
Old City of Berne
A short film by the Swiss Commission for UNESCO
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Good to know
Old City of Berne
The urban and spatial quality of Bern's old town was already laid out in the foundation plan of 1191. The incorporation of the topography, the structure of the ...
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