The clock tower, which sits in the center of Old Town Bern, was built in 1530 and is one of the towns focal points.
Two hands sweep the face of the clock, the outer dial points to the Gothic Roman numerals I-XII, this is the longer of the two hands with a sun emblem on one end. While the arrow shaped pointer on the inner circles, is for the quarter hours.
The black and gold dial is said to symbolize the creation story of the Bible.
Genesis 1, 1-3 "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void and darkness was upon the . . . And God said, let there be light!The black base represents the dark and the gold numerals and hands the light.
The astronomical clock displays the positions of the sun, moon, and zodiac constellations.
Four minutes before the hour a mechanical performance next to the astronomical clock begins with the appearance of a rooster, armed bears, jesters, Father Time, a knight in shinning armour, and a lion.
Tours of the clock tower last 50 minutes, we had such limited time that we decided, sadly that we couldn't take the tour.
Sitting above the Aare river sits the Swiss Parliament building, tours were available because parliament was not in session, but because of time constraints we were unable to take the tour.
This is the back entrance to the building, the square in front was used as a parking lot. In 2004 granite slabs repaved the area, and 26 water jets, one for each canton or county was hidden at surface level. In the summer, this is a popular place for the area children to cool off. This new square was awarded two prizes for its design.
This is the beautiful green dome that sits at the top of the Federal Parliament building.
On the corner of Kramgasse stands the oldest pharmacy in Bern, established in 1571.
The Bern Cathedral of St. Vincent's is said to have the tallest spire in the country, this Gothic church has been dated back to 1492. Many generations worked on this church, the steeple was completed in 1893.
We rounded the corner to view the front of the Cathedral to find this very imposing fence sheltering the entrances of the church.
Over the main door is a magnificent depiction of the Last Judgement which has over two hundred wood and stone figures.
Justice occupies the center, flanked by angels and the Wise and Foolish Virgins. Above is the Archangel Michael, with a sword and scales. The saved are on the left, and the damned are on the right.
The church was not opened, so we were unable to see the spectacular inside.
Our time was just about up in the beautiful city of Bern, Switzerland, and we hadn't eaten lunch, so we picked up a sausage from a vendor at the Christmas Market as we walked back to get on the bus.