Berne is the city where MyCityHighlight headquarters is located, it’s also the capital of Switzerland with a population of about 140,000. What we have to offer in Berne? All of it! Detective-Trail, Crime-Trails, Crime-Trail Kids, Audio Guide and coming soon Finding Daniel product! To say it shortly, you’re so lucky that you can experience every product of MyCityHiglhight when visiting this Swiss city, but does this place has more to offer?
Why you should visit Berne?
First of all… because of MyCityHighlight product of course! But not only that. Berne has a lot to offer and many stories to tell. I’m not going to write about the history of the city or the most interesting highlights, this part you can google yourself. I’ll try to come with some fun facts, and here is the first one of them. Once you’re there, take a deeper look into the street signs, they are all blue you might say, but wait a second…in the Old Town, they will be white, black, green, red and yellow. These colors date back to 1798, the year when Napoleonic troops invaded Berne. At the same time the colors of the signs, show the development of the city. The lower part of the old town was given white, followed by green, yellow and red signs. Just a funny yet interesting detail, but cool to know about. Berne was very successful to maintain its old town which is today a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Have you ever seen the Ghostbusters movie? It’s one of my favorites. The reason I’m mentioning this is that there is a ghost house in Berne! It is an empty Bern’s haunted house. Especially female ghosts are said to be up to mischief here. It’s told that people living in that house are becoming crazy, literally crazy. The house once served as a stable for the nearby Béatrice-von-Wattenwyl-Haus (town mansion) – even if it looks like an apartment building on the outside. There is a rumor that a tunnel leads from the house down to the Aare river. Maybe that’s how the ghosts got into the house. Just a guess!
What is the language of Berne?
While the city center of Bern is on a hill on the Aare peninsula, the Matte district is located directly on the banks of the Aare and is separated from the rest of the city, so that an independent culture with an independent dialect was able to develop there. The Mätteler were originally day laborers, fishermen, carters and much more and thus belonged to the urban lower class. Foreign workers and traders brought words from other languages. And from the German vocabulary, vowel changes, exchange of consonants and verbal horns gave rise to completely new word structures. In other words, “Matten English”, which was also used as a secret language developed there. Mattenber German as a separate subdialect no longer exists. Nevertheless, many expressions of the mat dialect have been preserved by incorporating them into the Berndeutsche, e.g. “Gieu” = boy or “Chemp” stone.
To sum up, the official language of Berne is German, but the most spoken language is an Alemannic Swiss German dialect, Bernese German.
Is the city hiding any treasures?
According to a story, goldsmiths buried a barrel full of gold pieces in the mat. This barrel was never found. When the building authority in Bern had to rip the asphalt three times in a row at the arbor, Margot used the Mätteler’s humor to put a board on the floor with a text on the German mat. The text translates as “here the barrel with the gold pieces is not buried”.
A bit of etymology:
The name of the city of Bern is first documented in a paper dated December 1, 1208. There are several explanations for the origin of the city name, which has not been clarified to this day, some of which are based on old legends and interpretations.
The best-known legend is that of the Justinger chronicle, according to which the city’s founder, Duke Berchtold V. von Zähringen, decided to name the city after the first animal killed in the surrounding forests. This is said to have been a bear. A connection between bear and Bern has no linguistic basis but is a folk etymology that is illustrated with the bear in the Bern coat of arms.
According to the lexicon, the “most convincing proposal” at the current state of research is the Swiss community name. the derivation of the name of the city of Bern from the Celtic word Berna. This is evidenced in the Middle Irish meaning “gap” or “slot”, which could have referred to a certain place or a section of the Aare as a place or field name. This term could be borrowed into German after it was used by a Gallo-Romanic population.
This was a Berne in a nutshell description, but hopefully got enough of your attention and interest that you will put this city on your travel list. Do not forget that MyCityHighlight products will help you to explore Berne and learn more details and interesting facts about this beautiful city. You can learn more about it just by visiting www.mycityhighlight.com
See you in Berne!