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Marco in Bern, Switzerland

by Marco 27 July, 2009 View Comments

Featuring The Zytglogge

This past weekend I visited one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. Although we only had time to scratch the surface of the Old Town, it was enough for me to fall in love with city. We visited two of the main attractions, as per the tourist guides. One is an amazing clock tower at the entrance of the old city called the Zytglogge and Bern's Gothic cathedral the Münster of Bern. Since the Baily Blog is on a watch site I will focus on the Zytglogge!

The Zytglogge started off as a tower in the early thirteenth century and served various functions during its history including a prison mainly housing woman convicted of having sexual relations with clerics in the mid-fourteenth century. The clock, along with its bell, was not installed until the early fifteenth century, which is when it was dubbed the Zytglogge meaning "Bell Clock."

The current movement was created by Kaspar Brunner in 1530, but was upgraded by Pierre Angely in 1687 circa to improve accuracy. What makes this attraction so spectacular is that the Zytglogge is an astronomical clock, which calculates many astronomical features and includes functions such as temporal time, the zodiac, and a planisphere showing the sky at various times. All the clock's functions are displayed on a colourful and intricate dial. A wooden bell-striker strikes the original hour bell cast in 1405.

Bern is probably already marked down on any tourist's itinerary for Switzerland, but I will still highly recommend visiting this city just in case someone overlooked it.

View of Münster of Bern




Detail of the astronomical clock from below

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