Bern is the de facto capital of Switzerland, located on the Aare River. It is the fourth largest city in the country.
There has been settlement here since approximately the 5th Century BC, though the city of today was founded in the 12th Century.
Today, Bern is known as one of the most beautiful and enchanting cities in Europe. It is notable for its churches, architecture, history, riverfront, bridges, quality of life, and native bears.
People Born in Bern
Bern in People's Lives
Hermann Hesse: My family and I moved here in 1912, directly following my return from a long trip of mine to the near and far east. The voyage had been sparked by a growing distance from my wife, Maria. Now that I had returned, and we had moved here, we both hoped for a fresh start. However, my marital troubles continued. At the outbreak of World War I in 1914, I volunteered to serve in the German Imperial Army. I was, at the time, 37 years old, and said that I could not sit by the fireplace while other young authors were dying on the front. I was found unfit for duty due to an eye condition, but was assigned to caring for prisoners of war. Throughout the war, I promoted peace and love in my writings, a stark contrast to most writers of the time. I wrote essays calling upon my people to love instead of hate. For the first time, this subjected me to political conflicts. The German press attacked me, I recieved hate mail, and former friends now distanced themselves from me. I was mistakenly labelled as "anti-war" and unpatriotic. These shifts in public attitude toward me, and finding myself the actual subject of hatred for the first time, had a major and lasting impact on me. In 1916, I had a tragic year, with my father passing away in the early spring, my son becoming critically ill, and Maria being diagnosed with schizophrenia. I was also forced to leave my service in the military. To cope with these difficulties, I began psychotheraphy with Carl Jung, which began a friendship with Jung and an interest in the new field. Though Maria also had sessions with Jung, nothing helped, and her state of mind worsened. Eventually, she began a recovery process, but I could no longer see any future with her, and had definitively fallen out of love with her. Emerging from tragedy, I grew more determined and focused, and felt bursting with creativity. In only a three week span in 1917, I wrote my novel Demian, though I would not be published until 1919. Also in 1919, my marriage having long grown cold, I seperated from Maria. Our children were taken in by relatives, as Maria's disease made her unsuitable to care for them by herself. They were given comfortable pensions. Alone now, I moved to Minusio.