Bern: Zytglogge – Tour through the Clock Tower in Bern
Nestled in the picturesque city of Bern, Switzerland, is a stunning timepiece—a clock tower known as Zytglogge. This remarkable landmark, which has been standing since the 13th century, is one of the most recognized symbols of Switzerland, and it represents the importance the Swiss people place on punctuality and precision. Aside from its historical significance, Zytglogge is a popular tourist attraction, drawing groups of people throughout the year. If you’re looking to explore Bern’s old town and take in its incredible history at the same time, it’s a must-see spot.
What is the Zytglogge?
The Zytglogge, or “Time Bell” in English, is an astronomical clock tower located in the old town of Bern. It is believed to have been built in the early 13th century, though its origins are somewhat shrouded in mystery. One popular version of the legend behind the clock tower says that it was constructed by a man by the name of Jost Haller, who was believed to be a master builder in the city of Bern at the time. Another version claims that it was built by Innozenz III, the first bishop of Bern. Whatever its history may be, there’s no doubt that it has stood as a symbol of Bern for centuries.
The clock tower itself consists of three storeys, each adorned with paintings and carvings of historical figures and events. On the first level, there are two viewing windows that allow visitors to catch a glimpse of the inner workings of the clock tower, while on the second level there’s a staircase and various carvings depicting historical scenes. Finally, on the third level there is a bell which chimes out the local time every 15 minutes. This clock tower has been gaining popularity as a tourist attraction in recent years, and there are now tours available that allow visitors to go inside and explore it.
History of Bern
Before exploring the clock tower of Zytglogge, it’s worth taking a look at some of the fascinating history behind Bern itself. This city, located in western Switzerland, is the capital and fourth-most-populous city of the country. Its roots go back to the 12th century, when it was founded by Duke Berchtold V von Zähringen in 1191. Over time it has gone through different periods of development and progress, reaching its peak during the 15th and 16th centuries when it became an independent city-state.
Throughout its history Bern has had close ties with many European powers on both sides of the political spectrum. For instance, during World War I it remained neutral, yet managed to maintain strong diplomatic relations with France and Britain. This enabled it to act as an intermediary between them and other belligerent nations at that time. Through all this turbulence and building tension within Europe, Bern has continued to serve as a powerhouse of culture, education and financial development within Switzerland—making it an ideal choice for tourism and exploration.
Exploring Zytglogge in Bern
Exploring Zytglogge is a must for anyone visiting Bern. The building itself is quite impressive—it stands tall against other landmarks in the old town, acting as a constant reminder of Bern’s past. While taking in its breathtaking design, visitors can also learn about its inner workings and various stories behind it. Tour guides will walk participants through its various levels and chambers, providing interesting facts and commentary throughout. On top of that, those who take part in these tours can enjoy a magnificent 360 degree view of Bern from atop the tower’s roof.
Many sites recommend taking part in a specialized tour called “A History Walk Through Zytglogge.” This guided experience provides visitors with information about many aspects of Zytglogge’s history—giving everyone a better understanding and appreciation for its rich heritage. Tours typically start off with a glimpse at the tower from a distance before moving inside for closer inspection and discussion. Participants are provided headsets for listening to commentary about each aspect of the experience, which allows the group to move through different parts of the tower without any interruption or confusion. After that initial overview is complete, everyone will have time for photos and more exploration on their own before heading back out into old town to continue their day in Bern.
The experience is truly one-of-a-kind, allowing visitors to both explore an incredible piece of Swiss history while also taking in some stunning views along the way! If you’re planning to visit Bern any time soon, make sure you don’t miss out on this opportunity—book your tour through GetYourGuide, or get in touch with the local tourism office for more information on which tours they recommend. With rich history around every corner and stories just waiting to be heard—Bern is an incredible destination worth visiting!