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Alternate uses: See Berne (disambiguation).

The city of Bern, sometimes in English Berne (bûrn), German Bern (bærn), French Berne (bèrn), Italian and Romansh Berna (bèr'nä), serves as the capital of Switzerland.

Inhabitants: 142,000 (fourth most populous Swiss city after Zürich, Basel and Geneva).

Bern also functions as the capital of Bern canton, the second most populous of Switzerland's 26 cantonss.

Duke Berthold V of Zähringen founded the city on the River Aare in 1191 and allegedly named it after a bear he had killed (Bern has had bears for centuries - one can visit the bears in the bear pit off the Nydeggbrücke.)

In 1353 Bern joined the young Swiss Confederation.

The Zytglogge

The most famous monument of Bern is the Zytglogge, the medieval clock tower with its moving puppets. Other noteworthy sites include the Bundeshaus (the seat of the federal Parliament and administration) and the Münster (the cathedral).

Illustrious Bernese include the scientist Albrecht von Haller, the poet Albert Bitzius and the painters Ferdinand Hodler and Paul Klee. The German-born physicist Albert Einstein worked out his theory of relativity while employed as a clerk at the Bern patent office.

The old city of Bern is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Bern has Bern Airport and Bern Rail Station as its transportation outlets.

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