Cathedral - Münster, Bern

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  • Gothic decoration
    Gothic decoration
    by slothtraveller
  • From a distance and under repair
    From a distance and under repair
    by slothtraveller
  • Facade of Bern Minster
    Facade of Bern Minster
    by slothtraveller
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    Berner Münster

    by slothtraveller Written May 28, 2013

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    Bern Minster is a superb late Gothic cathedral; the tower of which is the tallest church tower in Switzerland at 101 metres in height.
    I did not visit the interior of the minster as I was tired from a day of sightseeing. Nevertheless, the exterior of the minster was well worth a look around. Next time I visit Bern, I would like to go to the top of the tower as the views of the surrounding area are meant to be pretty impressive.

    Facade of Bern Minster Gothic decoration Main portal From a distance and under repair
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    Cathedral in Bern

    by Odiseya Written Nov 5, 2012

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    Famous cathedral in Bern is a collegiate.
    The construction of those monument of culture an spirituality begun in 1421and finally completed only in 1893 with the erection of the tower. The tower is highest in the country (100m).
    The tympanum of the main door, made by E. Küng, is a remarkable illustration of the Last Judgement.
    After climbing 270 steps inside, you can reach the tower where you can enjoy a magnificent panorama over the city. Free admittance

    The higest tower in Switzerland Illustration of the Last Judgement on main door
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    The Munster - Stained Glass

    by Mikebb Updated Apr 25, 2011

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    We appreciated the stained glass windows throughout the Munster. Very colourful and all had a theme.

    No restrictions on photography, but keep in mind not to disturb proceedings. We often used non flash.

    Stained Glass Windows - Bern Munster Stained Glass Windows - Bern Munster
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    The Munster

    by Mikebb Updated Apr 25, 2011

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    During our short day visit to Bern this Cathedral was the building where we spent the most time. This is a beautiful old cathedral, the age is a standout point of our short visit.

    It is possible, for a small fee, to go up to the top of the Munster, 322 steps will give you a magnificent view over Bern. Some people took on this challenge, but we declined.

    So much to see, everything is very special even the old seats were personalised and took our attention. We could have easily stayed for half a day but had to move on.

    Inside The Munster, Bern The Munster, Bern Main Entrance - Bern Munster 15th Century Last Judgement Portal - Main Entrance The Old Seating - Bern Munster
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    heavenly creatures

    by globetrott Updated Jan 1, 2011

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    Dont miss the angles in the Berner Münster ! you will find them next to the main altar and as an ornate decoration of the seats for the honorities in the front part of the cathedral.
    Unfortunately it is quite dark in this part of the cathedral and photography with a flash or tripod is forbidden, but sometimes it helps to place your camera on one of the benches and press the button very slow and gentle. A strong lense like my 1:2,0 lense will work as well.

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    the interior

    by globetrott Updated Jan 1, 2011

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    The interior of the Berner Münster is worth seeing as well. While most churches in Switzerland are not really very fancy inside, this is a gothic, catholic church and it has a stunning interior, that would deserve at least about 30 minutes to take a look around.
    Dont miss the seats next to the altar, that are made with the most beautiful woodcarvings, that you might see in Switzerland, take a look at my next tip about more details !

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    Step up the tower of the Münster

    by globetrott Updated Dec 21, 2010

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    Step up the tower of the Münster, even though there are just steps and no elevator. The view of the alps is even better from up there than from Bundesterrasse and in addition you also see the old town of Bern from above.
    There is not a lot of space up there, as you can see in my 4th photo, but at least the way up and the way down are not the same like it sometimes is done in other old cathedrals.
    I made also a travelogue with some more photos from up there !

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    Münster - Haupttor / the main entrance

    by globetrott Updated Dec 21, 2010

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    Münster - Haupttor / the main entrance of the Münster is one of the most beautiful gothic gates, that I ever saw. The arches above the giant doors are decorated with colorfull sculptures, showing heaven and hell: In my 1st photo you can see the hell on the right, naked people there in the hell and when you look close enough, you also see bishops there and other noble people. On the left is the heaven, all dressed in white dresses...

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    Impressive Gothic

    by jorgec25 Updated Mar 8, 2010

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    Bern Cathedral is Switzerland's largest ecclesiastical building. Construction works began in 1421 and were only finished in 1893.

    The depiction of the Last Judgement, in the Portal of the cathedral is a must see. Truly amazing work. Some of the vitrals are also breathtaking.

    The views from the church tower are also very impressive, going all the way to the Bernaise Alps.

    Cathedral Cathedral Cathedral Cathedral Cathedral
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    The Gothic Rocket

    by riorich55 Written Apr 22, 2009

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    I've seen the Munster described as the "Gothic Rocket" and even though we couldn't get the full effect of the tower since there was construction going on at the top, other pictures I've seen clearly show a rocket type look.

    Just a few other comments about the Munster. The original builder was Matthaus Ensinger who previously had designed 3 other Cathedrals. He envisioned a grand Cathedral for Bern even though the population in 1421 was only around 5000. Although not as awe inspiring as the other houses of worship we saw in London and Paris, it still gives one pause. When you look at the modern churches constructed today you can only marvel at the intricacies of those centuries old churches.

    Main Church Entrance Stain Glass Window at Entrance Long View Showing Tower Construction The Munster Organ Those Imaginative European Water Spouts
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    The Saved and Damned

    by riorich55 Updated Apr 22, 2009

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    The Berner Munster (collegiate church) was originally build around 1421 as a Berner Dom (Catholic cathedral) and technically not finished in its current state until 1893 when the bell tower was added.

    Although many of the statues and images inside the church were destroyed during the Protestant reformation the Saved and Damned carved wood and stone statues of the Last Judgement over the entrance were not probably due to the fact that the Protestants saw this as a very poignant representation of Heaven and Hell. The 170 small carvings are still the 15th century originals while the larger 47 statues are replicas with the originals in a local Bern museum.

    We did not get a chance to climb the bell tower when we were there as it was nearing the end of the day and we had already climbed St Paul in London the week before, but the views of the highest tower in Switzerland are great according to other viewers.

    Initially we were disappointed with the way the picture on this tip turned out, but the more we looked and saw that most of the damned were in the late afternoon shade while the saved were in the sun actually added to the story of the The Last Judgement.

    The Close View of the Good and the Bad The Far View of the Good and the Bad
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    Beautiful cathedral, great view of the city

    by VDElvis Written Dec 20, 2007

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    The "Berner Münster" is one of the nicer cathedrals in Switzerland, in my opinion. Nothing terribly out of the ordinary compared to other cathedrals, but it was just very nice. For a few Swiss Francs, you can climb up the tower and have an unparalleled view of the city. It's well worth the price.

    Berner M��nster Inside the M��nster View from the tower of the M��nster View from the tower of the M��nster View from the tower of the M��nster
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    Bern Munster

    by aukahkay Written Aug 17, 2006

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    Bern’s late-Gothic Münster is unmistakeable, its feathery spire – the highest in Switzerland – towering over the Old Town and its sonorous bells dominating the quiet city. From the top of the Munster, one gets a breathtaking view of the whole of Bern and the surrounding mountains.

    The Bern Munster in the background
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    (I) The outside

    by hojasdehierba Updated Mar 8, 2006

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    The Munster is built in a magnificent late Gothic style. The works of building began in 1421 and went along XVth and XVIth centuries. The most peculiar detail of its outside is the front representation, over the main door, of Last Judgement, which dates back from XVth century. It shows the condemned naked on the left and on the right there are the ones who will be saved, dressed in white. Saints and devils, good and evil, opposition of the contraries: a simple but impressive allegory for illiterate people, who were meant to learn the mysteries of faith not through words but mostly through images. Gargoyles, which are very often decorated with animals at most churches, are here also people who suffer a punishment, as you can see at one of the pictures.

    La Catedral (Munster) esta construida en un magnifico estilo Gotico tardio. Las obras de construccion comenzaron en 1421 y siguieron a lo largo de los siglos XV y XVI. El detalle mas peculiar de su exterior es la representacion frontal del Juicio Final, colocada en un timpano sobre la puerta principal. Muestra al grupo de los condenados a la izquierda, desnudos, y a los redimidos, vestidos de blanco, a la derecha. Santos y demonios, bien y mal, oposicion de contrarios: una alegoria sencilla pero llamativa para un pueblo iletrado, que debia aprender los misterios de la fe no a traves de palabras, sino sobre todo, a traves de imagenes. Las gargolas, que muy a menudo son decoradas en con animales en la mayoria de las iglesias, son aqui tambien personas que sufren un castigo, como se puede ver en una de las fotos.

    Main door Last Judgement detail Partial view of front Poor man gargoyle
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    (III) Munstergasse

    by hojasdehierba Written Mar 5, 2006

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    Munstergasse is a kind of terrase behind the Bern Cathedral from where you have a good view of the river. From here you may appreciate that there are something like beaches in the Aare: sandy beaches, I mean.

    Munstergasse es una especied de terraza detras de la Catedral de Berna, desde la cual puedes tener una buena vista del rio. Desde aqui puedes apreciar que hay algo asi como playas en el Aare. Mucha arena, por cierto.

    View of the Aare
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