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Bern: 22 Houses to buy

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Medieval heritage and cutting-edge industry

With a population of nearly 134,000 (410 thousand in the entire agglomeration), Bern is the fifth-most populous city in Switzerland and a capital of the canton of Bern. This German-speaking city, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is also the permanent seat of the Federal Government and, in a sense, the political capital of the Swiss Confederation. Bern is a quiet city, with diplomacy representatives making a considerable part of the population. It is also a university city that has more than 18,000 students. Just for the record, it was here that Albert Einstein developed the theory of relativity. Bern and the Bern region have a long tradition of watchmaking (Omega, Rolex, Longines and Swatch). The extensive watchmaking know-how is also used in medicine, telecommunication, IT and precision industry. 70% of the city’s professionally active residents work in services, healthcare, public administration and education. Bern is crossed by the Aar River, on the banks of which the city was originally established. Its medieval architecture, e.g. the 15th century arcades and 16th century fountains are in excellent condition. The whole of Bern's old town is worth visiting, but special attention should be given to the collegiate church with its 100-metre-high tower, the Clock Tower, the palace housing the seat of the Federal Assembly and the square in front of it. There is also the Bear Park that in 2009 replaced the Bear Pit, which the city had since 1441.

Real properties: living in Bern

When speaking about their city, residents of Bern usually call it: “a small capital, quiet and pleasant”, lined with omnipresent greenery, both on the banks of the Aar, which are perfect for city walks, and in the neighbourhood, which abounds in forests and green pastures topped by the Gurten, Bern's 858 m high mountain. In summer people swim in swimming pools and in the Aar while in winter, sports enthusiasts seek open-air activity on the surrounding slopes. The heart of the city is car-free, but the public transport network is of high quality, like in all other Swiss cities. However, the favourite means of transport of people in Bern is bike. It is worth noting that the Zurich International Airport is only 107 km away. It is not easy to live in Bern, because there are not many properties available and the prices are exorbitant. In the city's restaurants, gourmet food lovers must try Berner Teller, a local dish with meat, sausages, potatoes and sauerkraut or green beans. Berner Teller is largely inspired by German cuisine.

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