Founded in roman times as Salodurum and independent city state from 1218 and after the alliance with Bern 1295 part of the Swiss Confederation. From 1530 to 1792 the French ambassador to Switzerland was in Solothurn. Most of todays town center was built in the 16. to 18. century.
There is a excellent confiserie, Suteria, opposit the St. Ursen Cathedral with a very nicer Suter Solothurner Torte (cake).
There is a direct train from Bern to Solothurn every half hour about 40 minutes, from Zurich also every half hour about 55 minutes, from Basel every half hour about 55 minutes with a change in Olten.
You can see the Jungfrau (best from near the Victoria Jungfrau Hotel) in nice weather, if you don´t see it don´t go to Jungfrau, you will not see anything when there and it´t about 100 Swiss Franks to go.
There is a hostel close to the Interlaken Ost train station.
There is a train every half hour from Bern to Interlaken taking about 1 hour.
From Bern to Brienz you have to change in Interlaken Ost, every half hour about 1.20 hours.
For railway fans in the summer season there is daily a steam train-
Take the train from Bern to Brig, change train to Leuk and change to the bus to Leukerbad. Take the Gemmi cable car, and from the top hike for about 4 to 5 hours to Sunnbuel, where you can take the cable car down to Kandersteg, and with the bus to the train station. Train to Spiez, where you change to the connecting train back to Bern.
There are restaurant on the way to Sunnbuel, but as real hiker, you most likely take food in your backpack.
To see pictures go to my website at http://www.swisstom.net/Bilder/Freizeit/Gemmipass/ThumbsGemmi1.html
Description of the route
Kornhaus is the name of the former storehouse for wheat, that was built in the year 1711. Already at that time the cellar of this building was constructed as a wine-store and Kornhaus-Keller is nowadays still one of the best known wine-cellars in Bern.
The upper part of the building is used for the library nowadays and the large square in front of it is called Kornhausplatz.
B.t.w.: in front of the Kornhaus you will see one of the most famous fountains of Bern: the Kindlifresserbrunnen ( see it in my main photo here!)
Zeerlerderhaus is dating back to the year 1516 but the interesting fresco at its facade is dating back to the beginning of the 19th century and it is showing the familytree of the owners of this house between 1335 and 1806. In 1806 the Zeerleder-family bought this house and that is where the name comes from.
You will find this interesting building in Junkerngasse 51 (a side-street, parallell to marktgasse and Kramergasse and quite close to the Münster.
Nydeck is an old part of the city of Bern, where you almost will not find any tourists, although it is very close to the bear-park and lots of tourists are passing by there, when searching for the bears.
Nydeck-church has some interesting windows and a wonderful entrancegate (my 3rd and 4th photo)
The catholic church of St.Peter & Paul is opposite of the townhall of Bern. It is a church in neogothic style with quite an interesting interior and it is also a great place to relax a bit on a hot summerday.
This church is directely opposite of Mani-Matter-Stutz !
Dont miss this interesting "collection" of measures, when you are at the Zytgloggeturm ! And what was most interesting for me is the fact, that this collection is there to see for everybody since the 17th century already and everbody could come and copy these measures.
From above: Bernerfuss & Schweizerfuss (quite the same as the measure foot/feet in english, but maybe not exactely the same size)
Rosengarten is the name of a small hill not far from the Bärengraben and the new Bärenpark and from there you will have a great view of the old city of Bern. There is a restaurant and lots of benches in the park and its a great place to relax. What you will not see from there are the alps, that are snowcovered all year long, for seeing them you have eighter to go to Bundesterrasse or even better to step up the tower of the Münster (the cathedral of Bern)
Junkerngasse is one of the sidestreets of Bern and it is taking you to the Berner Münster, the cathedral. Junkerngasse is parallell to the much more famous Marktgasse, but it is a lot less crowded. There are some arcades / Lauben as well at least on one side of the street, but these arcades are much smaller than the ones from Marktgasse.
Mayhaus was built around the year 1515 and you will find it not far from the Berner Münster. The building has an interesting tower that ends on the bottom with the sculpture of that poor person, who seems to be forced to hold the whole construction, and you can see the pain all over his face, just take a look at my 3rd photo !
was a "Berner Troubadour" and next to the townhall of Bern a tiny little street - not longer than maybe 50 meters is named after him. Dr. Hans Peter Matter was working for the legal department of the Canton of Bern and already in the age of 17 he began to compose and write funny songs in swiss-german.
The songs of Mani Matter were a really big help for me to learn swiss-german, maybe it would help Holger as well ?? :-))
Mani Matter - I han es Zundhölzli azündt
Mani Matter: Dr Sidi Abdel Assar vo El Hama
Mani Matter - Ds Heidi
Mani Matter - Schimpfwörter sy Glückssach
Mani Matter - Farbfoto
A hike up to or down from Gurten, rather than taking the Gurtenbahn (funicular) is interesting and can have some pleasant surprises. One can see cows, horses, or sheep which are grazed along the slopes where the footpath goes. Also, in late spring, some wild berries can be found along the wayside. If your eye is quick, you may also find some mushrooms in the underbrush.
You can also decide to go away from the footpaths, and halfway down, enter the streets where the houses are, to go down. Here, the houses are charming, designed to take advantage of their fantastic views of the landscape around.
Solothurn was the first place I stopped after picking my rental car at the airport. I was on my way to Bern, and I'm glad I stopped by for a couple of hours in this beautiful town.
The Basel Gate and the clock tower were some of my favourite places. But also the medieval streets and fountains along the town, as well as the magnificent St. Ursen Cathedral were a must.
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