Federal House Berne - Headquarters of the oldest democracy in the world Messen

Swiss Federal House Berne |
House of Parliament

Welcome in the Swiss «Bundeshaus», the Federal House – headquarter one of the oldest democracies in the world – in the Swiss capital of Berne. It was organised as a two-parliament system in 1848, like the USA. In Switzerland the two parliaments are called the National Council and the Upper Chamber.

Before you climb the magnificent stairs, which lead to the rooms of the parliament, you cross the central dome hall. Here you see numerous symbolic representations of Swiss history. J.A. Vibert, for example, created the monument of the three confederates who gave their federal oath (Werner Stauffacher, Walter Fürst, Arnold von Melchtal). Four servants of the country stand along the stairs; they embody the four languages of Switzerland. Opposite the Rütli group you will find a relief about the origin of the Swiss according to the legend of William Tell told by Schiller. Statues of Winkelried as a symbol of his readiness to sacrifice himself and Niklaus von der Flüe as a symbol of conciliation are to be found in the niches. The glass dome above shows the federal coats of arms of the 22 cantons. The coat of arms of the Canton of Jura is next to the others with the foundation year (1978) of the new canton. The four windows represent the country’s regions and their economic activities.

At the top of the stairs you will cross the antechamber of the room of the national council and you will enter the so-called lobby where the members of parliament take their breaks during their meetings, where they make new contacts and where they develop new strategies at the coffee tables. This hall will lead you to the big National Council room. There is a painting by Ch. Giron; it shows the Rütli meadow – the cradle of Swiss confederation – and in the background are the two myths. The seats at the back wall, which look like choir chairs, are reserved for the members of the Upper Chamber when the united federal assembly takes place.

Three high arched windows light the somewhat smaller room of the Upper Chamber, which lies above the main entrance towards the Bundesplatz (Federal Square). You will enter it through some arcades on the sidewalls above which the stands for the audience are built. . The small meeting room of the seven federal councils is panelled with Swiss wood. The House of Parliament was built in the year 1902 and is in the style of the histories.


Information and registration
Bundeshausführungen (Guided tours of the Federal House)
Parlamentsdienste (Parliament services)
Bundesplatz 3
CH-3003 Bern

Phone +41 (0)31 322 85 22
Fax +41 (0)31 322 98 65

Further information: www.parlament.ch


Would you like to visit the House of Parliament?
Below, you will find some information from the Federal House.

The House of Parliament can only be visited by means of the official guided tours. People who participate in a guided tour must identify themselves with a valid certificate (valid ID, passport or driving license) and must hand this piece of identification in during their visit. Visitors who take part in official guided tours (groups or single persons) use the entrance on the left next to the main entrance. Visitors cannot enter into the entrance hall.
There are guided tours daily in German, French, Italian and English from Monday to Saturday. You will find more information on the website of www.parlament.ch.

Admission is free; you can get tickets at the visitor service. Reservations by telephone are possible one day before. There is a limit of 50 visitors per guided tour.

A guided tour lasts about 45 minutes – visitors will get a view of the history and architecture of the building as well as the way the parliament works and how it is formed. You will have the opportunity to ask questions.

Video and photo cameras are not allowed!

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