Altstadt (Old Town) and City Center

Fire destroyed the original, predominantly wooden structures that composed the Altstadt, the historical heart of the city that perches above the Aare. The Bernese rebuilt using local sandstone, and today's arcaded, cobblestone streets radiate medieval appeal. Eclectic upscale boutiques inhabit some of the oldest buildings downhill from the Zytglogge; Marktgasse and Spitalgasse favor chain and department stores.

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