Switzerland definitely had a different ambiance than the other European regions we have visited. I don’t know why or the history of its construction, but, historically speaking, I suspect the influence of the Greeks and Romans lost a lot of its power this far north. One thing we saw a lot of in Bern, though, that I don’t remember seeing so much of in other places, are the painted, almost folk-tale-esqu statues that adorn the fountains and protrude from various buildings. It really does add a bit of Brothers Grimm to the atmosphere. I understand they are Renaissance era.
Stoney conducted a GPS-led hunt for this bad boy…
I also took a photo of Samson killing the lion on a fountain, but the lighting was too bad to print. All told, I understand there are 11 of these fountains. There are plenty of regular fountains, too, though. My favorite was a modern play fountain in one of the plazas.
The other interesting feature was cartoonish people just standing on walls. Such an interesting ensemble! Why these people, on these buildings? I didn’t get an answer to that question, just photos.
The city clock tower also had some intriguing figures. Some minutes before the clock chimed the hour, there was a bit of a show; and then a little after the hour (why?) it chimed and the figures moved. The ones in the top moved with the chiming of the bell, but did not seem to be actually striking the bell.
A crowd definitely gathered at the hour in anticipation of the show. Frankly, I thought the little figures would do more. They are centuries old, though!
And that is our first introduction to Old Town Bern. If anyone knows more about the little people on the buildings down market street, I would love to hear the story. (UPDATE: Thank you, Anne Noelle, for identifying the building with the African as the Lithuanian embassy! So the questions remains: why?)