Läuferbrunnen (Runner Fountain), Bern

Läuferbrunnen (Runner Fountain), Bern

The Runner Fountain (Läuferbrunnen) is a cultural and historical landmark on Runner Square (Läuferplatz) within the Old City of Bern. This area is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is situated near the Nydegg Church along Nydeggstalden. The fountain is designated as a Swiss Cultural Property of National Significance, underscoring its importance in Swiss heritage.

The history of the Runner Fountain extends back to the mid-16th century. The original figure of the fountain was crafted in 1545, although the trough it rests upon was constructed later in 1824. Over the centuries, the fountain underwent several transformations; the original octagonal trough was replaced by a rectangular one before 1757, and this in turn was replaced in 1824. Similarly, the initial round column was substituted with the current square limestone pillar during the 18th or 19th century.

The statue atop the fountain portrays a messenger in mid-stride, clad in the red and gray colors of the city, bearing the Bernese coat of arms. This depiction aligns with his role as a medieval herald, evident from the messenger’s spear in his right hand and the messenger’s case on his back, potentially containing important documents. A unique feature of the fountain is the accompanying young bear, also dressed as a messenger, which adds a distinctly local touch reflecting Bern's historical association with bears.

A replica of the original statue, dating from the 1950s, now stands on the fountain at Messenger Square, while the original can be viewed at the Bern Historical Museum. The Runner Fountain is part of a series of fountains established around the Old City of Bern during the period between 1542 and 1545.

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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Läuferbrunnen (Runner Fountain) on Map

Sight Name: Läuferbrunnen (Runner Fountain)
Sight Location: Bern, Switzerland (See walking tours in Bern)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark

Walking Tours in Bern, Switzerland

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