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Bern South - Museums

Bern Natural History Museum
  Natural History Museum (Naturhistorisches Museum der Burgeremeinde Bern) – A very kid-friendly museum, check out life-size dioramas of Barry, the famous St. Bernard dog, and animals native to Switzerland – Alpine ibex, chamois, deer, wild boar, marmots, mountain hare, and many kinds of birds, plus touch tables with huge horns, antlers, animal tracks. In the basement are huge crystals, minerals, and exhibits of gold and diamonds. The museum is open daily, shorter hours on Monday.
    Historical Museum of Bern (Historiches Museum Bern) – Be sure to check out the large model of Bern in 1800 – it's easy to see why the city is located on the promontory above the Aare River. Other galleries have ornate gold and silver ceremonial drinking vessels in the shape of animals, 16th century tapestries of the life of St. Vincent (originally in the Bern Cathedral), and the grisly "Dance of Death" scenes (fun for teens, but hard to explain to younger kids). A museum for older kids, and good rainy day activity.
      Outdoors, in front of the museum to the left, are an old wooden water wheel, and historic bells (ring two of them).
Bear drinking cup
    Tip: See how many examples of bears you can find in the museum. Here's what we found: the two large bear statues at the entrance to the museum, silver drinking cups with a standing bear sticking out his tongue, cups with bears at the base, a black bear on a shield, large painting of a battle with a bear wearing armor and wielding a sword, plus the flag of Bern.
      Einstein Museum – One floor of the museum is devoted to the Einstein Museum (additional fee). In 1905, Einstein was living and working in Bern when he came up with the theory of relativity. Einstein's personal and professional life is presented through exhibits of memorabilia, photographs, and documentary film. Audio guides are available in multiple languages.
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