Peripatetic Highlights in Bern

  • Ann M. Hentschel


The capital city of the Swiss Canton of Bern and of the Swiss Confederation is nestled in a narrow loop of the Aare river, at the foot of the Alps. The old town, founded around 1191, is well preserved despite a devastating fire in 1405.** Major industries of the region developed under the constraints of modest domestic markets, high transportation costs, and protectionist legislation across national borders. Switzerland thus found its niche in higher-end markets, such as chocolate making, engine building, instruments, fine textiles, and chemicals or pharmaceuticals. My tour past historically significant scientific sites in Bern will use the local legacy of its most illustrious residents, Albert Einstein (1879–1955), who lived there from 1902-1909, and Fritz Houtermans (1903–1966), who lived there from 1952–1966, as its guiding thread through the old town and the university district. Place names in italics mark stops along the tour.


Transportation Cost Capital City Telephone Exchange National Border Protectionist Legislation 


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© Birkhäuser Verlag Basel, Switzerland 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ann M. Hentschel
    • 1
  1. 1.Stuttgart

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