Bern Historical Museum

Bern, Switzerland

The Bern Historical Museum is the second largest historical museum in Switzerland. It was designed by the Neuchâtel architect André Lambert and built in 1894. Since it was initially conceived as the Swiss National Museum (which the city of Zurich was later chosen to host), the architect took as his model various historic castles from the 15th and 16th centuries. An extension to the original museum building was completed in 2009.

The museum contains collections related to the history of Bern from prehistoric times to the present and other artefacts on permanent display from Asia, Oceania, America and Egypt. One of the most remarkable items in the collection is the Muri statuette group, a group of six Gallo-Roman bronze figurines.

Over the museum's entrance is a glass mosaic, 'The Age of History', featuring the figures of Poetry and History, made in 1900 by the Swiss painter Léo-Paul Robert.

First conceived as a temporary exhibition in 2005, the Einstein Museum became a museum dedicated to the life and work of Albert Einstein, who developed the Relativity Theory while living in Bern. The house where he lived (Einsteinhaus) in this period is also open to the public, but is located elsewhere in the city and charges separate entry fees.

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Details

Founded: 1894
Category: Museums in Switzerland

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Cindy Peng (2 years ago)
The museum is huge! We spent 2 really nice afternoons there and still haven’t been able to finish it yet. Great activity for a gloomy day alone or with company! (Could be really empty during the weekdays, and it gets a bit scary when no one is in the room with all the historically looking mannequins
Ognian Dimitrov (2 years ago)
We spent about 2 hours in the museum. The museum itself has a historical and archaeological part dedicated to the creation and history of Bern. There is also a small Egyptian museum, as well as a museum of cultures from Southeast Asia. The museum is interesting and well arranged, I recommend it.
eperke kiss (2 years ago)
Lovely place in Bern, I really like it!
caroline eghagha (2 years ago)
This museum is a two in one. There's the history museum and there's the Einstein museum and they are both really good. I discovered so much about Einstein's childhood. The objects in the other part were amaźing to see like the manual tooth drill
Flávia Mobili (2 years ago)
Really nice museum with many different things about Einstein. The first floor you can see a few Egyptian artifacts, the second floor is dedicated to Einstein and the third floor is 20th Century of Bern. To me Einstein's museum was the best, it has different galleries and it isn't completely restricted to his life. For example you can read a bit about other famous Jewish scientists. The entrance is a super cool effect with mirrors and you have many videos and documents.
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Lorca Castle

Castle of Lorca (Castillo de Lorca) is a fortress of medieval origin constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries. It consists of a series of defensive structures that, during the Middle Ages, made the town and the fortress an impregnable point in the southeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. Lorca Castle was a key strategic point of contention between Christians and Muslims during the Reconquista.

Archaeological excavations have revealed that the site of the castle has been inhabited since Neolithic times.

Muslim Era

It has not been determined exactly when a castle or fortress was first built on the hill. The first written documentation referring to a castle at Lorca is of Muslim origin, which in the 9th century, indicates that the city of Lurqa was an important town in the area ruled by Theudimer (Tudmir). During Muslim rule, Lorca Castle was an impregnable fortress and its interior was divided into two sections by the Espaldón Wall. In the western part, there was an area used to protect livestock and grain in times of danger. The eastern part had a neighbourhood called the barrio de Alcalá.

After Reconquista

Lorca was conquered by the Castilian Infante Don Alfonso, the future Alfonso X, in 1244, and the fortress became a key defensive point against the Kingdom of Granada. For 250 years, Lorca Castle was a watchpoint on the border between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Muslim state of Granada.

Alfonso X ordered the construction of the towers known as the Alfonsina and Espolón Towers, and strengthened and fixed the walls. Hardly a trace of the Muslim fortress remained due to this reconstruction. Muslim traces remain in the foundation stones and the wall known as the muro del Espaldón.

The Jewish Quarter was found within the alcazaba, the Moorish fortification, separated from the rest of the city by its walls. The physical separation had the purpose of protecting the Jewish people in the town from harm, but also had the result of keeping Christians and Jews separate, with the Christians inhabiting the lower part of town.

The remains of the Jewish Quarter extended over an area of 5,700 square m, and 12 homes and a synagogue have been found; the synagogue dates from the 14th century and is the only one found in the Murcia. The streets of the town had an irregular layout, adapted to the landscape, and is divided into four terraces. The synagogue was in the central location, and around it were the homes. The homes were of rectangular shape, with various compartmentalized rooms. The living quarters were elevated and a common feature was benches attached to the walls, kitchens, stand for earthenware jars, or cupboards.

Modern history

With the disappearance of the frontier after the conquest of Granada in 1492, Lorca Castle no longer became as important as before. With the expulsion of the Jews by order of Ferdinand and Isabella, Lorca Castle was also depopulated as a result. The castle was abandoned completely, and was almost a complete ruin by the 18th century. In the 19th century, the castle was refurbished due to the War of Spanish Independence. The walls and structures were repaired or modified and its medieval look changed. A battery of cannons was installed, for example, during this time. In 1931 Lorca Castle was declared a National Historic Monument.

Currently, a parador (luxury hotel) has been built within the castle. As a result, archaeological discoveries have been found, including the Jewish Quarter.