Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20F rom its medieval gems to its breathtaking views over the Bernese Alps – less than an hour away – Bern is the perfect base for anyone looking for a mixed ski and culture winter break. Virtually no other city has preserved its historic features in the way that Bern has. And happily for the visitor, the architectural treasures of the compact old town, framed on three sides by the River Aare, and a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983, are easily explored on foot. Indeed, the lively alleyways and 6km of medieval arcades with their welcoming cafés are a major part of Bern’s cosmopolitan charm. And on many of the streets you’ll find elaborate Renaissance fountains – beautiful reminders of Bern’s historic past. EXPLOREBERN Start with the ancient Parliament Building and Parliament Square (Bundesplatz). Move on to the 800-year-old landmark Clock Tower (Zytglogge), with its revolving figures, and fortify yourself with a coffee in one of the countless charming cafes before climbing the 344 steps to the high point of the impressive spire of the Gothic minster – it’s the highest in Switzerland and the views over the snow-covered rooftops of Bern are well worth the effort. For something less strenuous, visit the Bear Park (the bear is the much- loved symbol of Bern), or take in one of the city’s world-class museums, galleries and gardens. But it’s not just the past on display – Bern has some //BERN: CITYLIFE With its mix of medieval and modern, the Swiss capital rewards travellers in search of contrasts. 14