Bundeshaus (Federal Palace), Bern

Bundeshaus (Federal Palace), Bern (must see)

The Federal Palace in Bern serves as the seat of the Swiss Government and Parliament, hosting the Federal Assembly (legislature) and the Federal Council (executive). This architectural landmark, spanning over 300 meters, is a symmetrical complex that embodies Swiss governance and heritage. It consists of three interconnected buildings situated in the southwest of Bern's old city.

The oldest section, the west wing or "Bundeshaus West," was constructed from 1852 to 1857 by Jakob Friedrich Studer to unify the federal administration, government, and parliament. The east wing, "Bundeshaus Ost," was added between 1884 and 1892 by Hans Wilhelm Auer to address growing space needs. Auer then oversaw the construction of the central parliament building from 1894 to 1902, culminating in the current unified complex.

Each wing has a distinct function: the west wing houses two Federal Administration departments, the Federal Chancellery, and the Parliamentary Library, and hosts Federal Council meetings, while two other departments are headquartered in the east wing. These wings, designed with a restrained style to reflect their administrative role, contrast with the monumental central building, which showcases neo-Renaissance architecture, a grand portico, and a striking dome. Its ornate symbolism reflects Swiss history, constitutional principles, and cultural diversity, further emphasized by the use of stone from all regions of the country.

Renovated in the early 21st century, the Federal Palace remains a vital historical monument, listed in the Swiss Inventory of Cultural Assets of National Importance, highlighting its significance in Switzerland's heritage.

Why You Should Visit:
During the week, you can book a guided tour inside the building to learn more about the Swiss Federation's history and how it all started. The view over Bern from the terrace is alone worth the visit!

The front side of the building is where you'll find a flea market and cafés, while the back side has a magnificent view perfect for sunset.
Tours run twice a day, with reservations required at least one day before. Languages are German, French, Italian, Rhaeto-Roman, English.

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 Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Bundeshaus (Federal Palace) on Map

Sight Name: Bundeshaus (Federal Palace)
Sight Location: Bern, Switzerland (See walking tours in Bern)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Bern, Switzerland

Create Your Own Walk in Bern

Create Your Own Walk in Bern

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

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