What is the Capital of Switzerland?

Bern is the capital of Switzerland and it is also the seat of the federal government. The city is located on the Aare River and it has a population of about 130,000. Bern is a beautiful city with a medieval old town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is also home to many museums and art galleries.

Updated:20 Sep, 2022

The capital of Switzerland is Bern. The city is located on the Aare River in the country's west-central region. It is the fourth most populous city in Switzerland with a population of 437,000 people. Bern is also the capital of the canton of Bern, the second most populous canton of Switzerland. Let's get to know more about the capital of Switzerland in this article. 

The official language of Bern is German, but the most spoken language is Swiss German. The city is situated on the Aare River in the Swiss Plateau and has an area of 51.9 square kilometers. The city is dominated by the Bernese Alps which rise to a height of 2,500 meters above the city. The highest point in the city is the Weissenstein, which is 1,016 meters above sea level. The municipality of Bern includes the city of Bern and the villages of Länggasse, Muri, Bolligen, Kirchenfeld, Wabern, and Bern-Ittigen. 

The city is divided into 10 districts, each with its own mayor and district council. The historic old city of Bern is situated on a peninsula formed by the Aare River. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has a well-preserved medieval city center. The Aare River flows through the city and is a popular spot for swimming in the summer. The city has several parks and green spaces, as well as a network of bicycle paths. Bern is a major political and cultural center in Switzerland. It is home to the Swiss Federal Assembly, the Swiss Federal Council, and the Swiss Federal Supreme Court. The University of Bern is also located in the city.

Capital of Switzerland - History:

The first documented use of the name Confoederatio Helvetica dates back to 1291. At that time, the three cantons of Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden signed the Federal Charter, which laid the foundation for the Swiss Confederation. The name Confoederatio Helvetica was officially adopted in 1815 when Switzerland was recognized as an independent country.

The Swiss capital of Bern was founded in 1191 by Duke Berthold V of Zähringen. The city was originally known as Berna, and it served as the capital of the canton of Bern. In 1798, the French Revolutionary Army occupied Switzerland, and the capital was moved to Lausanne. The capital was then moved back to Bern in 1803. The Swiss Confederation is a federal state, and the capital city is Bern. The city is located in the canton of Bern, which is one of the 26 cantons that make up Switzerland.

Bern is ranked among the world's top ten cities for the best quality of life (2010), Bern has been the seat of the Swiss federal government since 1848. The Bern agglomeration – stretching from Bern through the canton of Bern and into the canton of Solothurn – is ranked among the top 200 metropolitan areas in the world (2011).

The Roman province of Germania Superior had been abandoned in the 3rd century. The Alemanni settled the Swiss plateau by the 5th century and the valleys of the Alps by the 8th century. They founded the Germanic Kingdom of Alemannia. Alemannia fell under Frankish hegemony after the Battle of Tolbiac in 531, but it regained independence under the leadership of Duke Gundo around 600. Duke Boso of Alemannia went to Italy in the early 10th century to seek help from Emperor Arnulf of Carinthia. Arnulf had plenty of troops to help him conquer the kingdom. In fact, Arnulf's troops were the ones who conquered Italy, which led to the establishment of the Holy Roman Empire.

In the 12th century, under the Hohenstaufen emperors, German princes increased their influence further into the Alpine lands. When Frederick Barbarossa deposed the Duke of Swabia in 1167, the Swiss saw their chance to achieve self-determination. The Swiss Confederation was founded in 1291 by three cantons that formed the nucleus of the Old Swiss Confederacy: Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden. In the Battle of Laupen (1339), the Swiss defeated the Austrians and conquered the town of Bern, which became the Swiss capital.

The Swiss victory in the Swabian War (1499) against the Swabian League of Emperor Maximilian I, and the Swiss victory in the Burgundian Wars (1477–1478, 1479–1481, 1482–1493) against Charles the Bold of Burgundy, cemented Swiss independence. The Swiss Reformation led to the formation of a more republican Swiss Confederation. In the wake of the French Revolution, Switzerland was invaded by France in 1798 and became the Helvetic Republic, a French client state.

In 1803, Napoleon Bonaparte conquered Switzerland and imposed the Helvetic Republic, which lasted until 1813. The Congress of Vienna (1815) re-established Swiss sovereignty and the European powers guaranteed the neutrality of Switzerland. It was not involved in either of the two World Wars. However, both World Wars brought economic hardship to Switzerland. The first half of the 20th century saw a period of great creativity in Bern, with the founding of the Bernese School of Expressionist architecture and the Zurich school of Dadaism.

In 1959, the Swiss people voted in a referendum to become a federal state, and in 1963, the Swiss Parliament finally ratified the federal constitution. Today, Bern is a thriving city with a rich cultural life.

Places to Visit in the Capital of Switzerland, Bern:

Bern is known as Berna in German and Berna in Italian. The city got its name from the Bear, the heraldic animal of the city. The city is located in the center of Switzerland, which is why the city is called the capital of Switzerland. The city of Bern was founded in 1191. The city was the seat of the Dukes of Zähringen. The city was declared the capital of Switzerland in 1848, as it was the location of the Federal Assembly. The city is the headquarters of many federal agencies. The city is home to the University of Bern.

The city has an airport, which is located in the north of the city. The city is served by railways. The city is located in the Bernese Alps mountain range. The city is located at the confluence of the Aare and the Sense rivers. The city has a humid continental climate. The city experiences hot summers and cold winters. The city experiences rainfall throughout the year. 

The city is home to the Bernese Oberland region. The city is known for its medieval architecture, which is evident in its buildings and churches. The city is home to the Bernese Alps mountain range. The city is home to the University of Bern. The city is home to the Swiss National Museum. The city is home to the Swiss Federal Palace. The city is home to the Swiss Parliament. The city is home to the Swiss Federal Archives.

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