Bern Sights

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Bundeshaus (Houses of Parliament)

Bundeshaus (Houses of Parliament) Review

Conceived as a national monument and the beating heart of the Swiss Confederation (the seven-member Federal Council, the 46-member Council of States, and the 200-member National Council all meet here), this massive, majestic domed complex built between 1852 and 1902 takes its symbolism seriously. The 26 fountains out front represent the Swiss cantons; solemn statues inside depict the swearing of the oath on which the union is founded; and two huge murals, one in each chamber, represent the Vierwaldstättersee (Lake Lucerne) and a Landsgemeinde (outdoor cantonal assembly) scene, respectively the place where Swiss democracy was founded and the means by which it flourished. Guided tours are available in English.

Updated: 09-15-2012

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