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Berne History, Switzerland

Berne is known as one of the most crowded cities in Switzerland. However, before the increase of population in the city, Berne started as a small residence for people in the Neolithic Era. From there, the city’s population began to rise and Berne History started.

Berne History – Neolithic Era

As what was mentioned, the very first inhabitants of Berne settled in the town since the Neolithic Period. According to archaeological artifacts, the settlement in the area was known as Brenodor. However, the inhabitants deserted the place between 165 and 211 AD.

Berne History – Middle Ages

The city’s history formally began in 1191 when Duke Berchtold V founded Berne. According to legends, the city was named after the first animal Duke Berchtold V encountered while hunting. During that period, Berne was under the rule of the Zahringen’s house. They established and extended many settlements such as Berne.

With the rise of population in the 13th century from 400 to 3,000, came the demolition of the Nydegg castle, fortification of Aare slopes and the laying out of the Old Town.

Following a major fire which occurred in 1405, the original infrastructures made of wood were substituted with truss houses and buildings made of sandstone. Regardless of the fact that Berne suffered from the plague that hit Europe, many people still immigrated in the city.

Because Berne was not found within the chief trading routes, its economy revolved mainly on agriculture. Add to this, tannery was also one of the significant businesses along with leather products. In the following 3 centuries, Berne became a city of importance in terms of commerce. Its economy grew enormously as many families residing in the city rose as the aristocracy.

Berne History – 16th to 19th Century

Like many cities in Europe, Berne embraced the Reformation in 1528, and in the following centuries, the city’s streets and marketplaces were improved. In 1798, Berne and its government fell under the French, who looted the treasury. After a few years, the Congress of Vienna constrained the city to submit its western and eastern regions. Despite this, the city of Berne did not lose its fame and became the federal capital in 1848. A new railway station was built in 1864 on the site where the Christoffelturm once stood.

Berne History – 20th Century

Berne’s massive expansions came in the 20th century. Arching bridges, mansions, and housings were built. With the constant growth of economy in Berne, the population of the city grew rapidly. The government works up to this day to accommodate the increasing population of Berne.

Berne History tells more about what it went through in the past and how it struggled to become what it is today. For more information about Switzerland, read Basel Travel Guide and Geneva History.

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