Berner Minster (The Cathedral of Bern), Bern (must see)
The Münster was built by the city of Bern as a symbol of the growing power of this city-state. The interior was therefore designed to awe the citizens as well as foreign visitors. The central nave was built in a lacy gothic style with enormous stained glass windows and numerous altars in side chapels. The Gothic style allowed a taller central nave and larger windows than had been possible before, creating an impressive and light and airy structure.
The most beautiful aspect of the Münster is the main portal. 47 large free-standing statues and 170 smaller figures depict the Last Judgement where the righteous are separated from the wicked. This is perhaps the best depiction of the Last Judgement in all of Europe. Interestingly enough, the sculptures of the Last Judgement were the only statues in the Minster to survive the iconoclasm of the Protestant Reformation.
If you are so inclined on a beautiful day, climb the steeple. There is a charge for access but if the weather is nice, you get a very nice view of Bern and the Alps. Be cautious of your time as you can be right next to the ten-ton bell (the largest in the whole of Switzerland) when it rings at 6pm. While it is possible to stand near the bells when they are rung, it is necessary to cover ears to prevent hearing damage.
[Church] Mon-Sat: 10am-5pm (Apr 10-Oct 20); Sun: 11:30am-5pm (Apr 26-Oct 22) // Mon-Fri: 12-4pm (Oct 21-Apr 9); Sun: 11:30am-4pm (Oct 23-Apr 25)
[Steeple] Mon-Sat: 10am-4:30pm (Apr 10-Oct 20); Sun: 11:30am-4:30pm (Apr 26-Oct 22) // Mon-Fri: 12-3:30pm (Oct 21-Apr 9); Sun: 11:30am-3:30pm (Oct 23-Apr 25)
Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Bern. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.
Berner Minster (The Cathedral of Bern) on Map
Walking Tours in Bern, Switzerland
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