Thursday, May 21, 2015

The city of the bear

We learned more about Swiss history on an excursion to Bern. Walking through the city, we visited the Bernese bear pit, the city's clock tower, and the Bern Minster.
According to legend, Bern received its name from Berchtold V, Duke of Zähringen and founder of Bern. While he was on a hunt, Berchtold vowed to name a city after the first animal he killed, which turned out to be a bear. And that's how Bern got its name!

We took an excursion to visit Bern and learned about its history while walking through the city.

Making our way to the centrally located clock tower, we saw a lot of interesting sites, such as a bear pit on the edge of town, various guilds in the city, and a creek that ran through the city feeding into fountains.

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In the photo above, the group is looking over the edge of the Bernese bear pit. It used to have live bears in it until only recently. Due to animal rights protesters, the bears were moved to a different area of the city with more space.

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Bern's clock tower was built over five centuries ago, and it is still working today due to its notable clockwork. Only a few clockworks were built in Switzerland that remain today. After seeing the clockwork, some Tesla Works student group members said they plan to make their own clockwork for their next project, but that's just a rumor!

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From the top of the tower, we could see stunning views of the busy street below.

Our next stop in the city was the Bern Minster. This Gothic cathedral is located in the old city and is known for the statues in the front entrance.

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Ending the excursion, we trekked to the outskirt of the city, where we ate lunch while taking in an amazing view of the city below.

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