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Travel Europe Switzerland The Rolex city - Biel

The Rolex city - Biel

Biel, Switzerland,  Knights fountain in the the old town

In the canton of Bern is the city of Biel; not only the capital but also the largest city. Biel is known for its watch industry. In the second half of the 19th century here was established many factories specialized in watches.

The country Switzerland (Swiss federation) is divided into states. One of these states is the canton of Bern. Bern joined in 1953 joined the Swiss federation. The county has an area of 6,000 square kilometers, lies in western Switzerland and has approximately 1,000,000 inhabitants. The canton of Bern has 26 districts.

The capital of the canton of Bern is the Biel city. Biel is the second largest city at altitude of 438 meters and with over 60,000 inhabitants. Thirdly is Thun with 41,000 inhabitants and the fourth Köniz with 37,000 residents.

On the banks of Lake Biel, at the foot of the Jura is the second city of Canton. In Switzerland, some cities have their official language German and French. Biel is one of those cities, even the street name is in two languages on the signs.

Traditionally, the city of Biel watches and the Swiss craftsmanship is still actively maintained. The city is only going to grow from the second half of the 19th century, when the hour and precision industry was started.
Biel has a vibrant new district and a charming old town. The old part is nice for shopping, in the narrow cobbled streets with decorative fountains. This can ease take a whole day for shopping. In 2002, the outdoor exhibition EXPO.02 took place and the town of Biel was theme "Power and Freedom". The three futuristic towers on a platform in Lake Biel are each 40 meters high and serves as exhibition space.

The city is the gateway to the three lakes (Biel, Neuchatel, Coins). In the summer you will find these through various waterways to navigate. Excursions will leave from Biel to Jura, Zealand and Berner Mittelland. Also, in the city itself, discover a variety of sports, including hiking, water sports, cycling etc.

Forester Guild
The center of the city is a ring, a square surrounded by major houses, including the property owned by the forest ranger's guild. This house, 'das zu Zunfthaus Waldleuten' has a rounded corner bay from the 16th century and a golden onion dome, also called helmet.

St. Benedict Church
Also on this square is the St. Benedict Church, from the 15th century. This church has stained glass windows dating from the late Gothic period. The murals are still as in the initial period after construction.

The 16th century Zeughaus (arsenal) is now used as a theater. Today is coined the "Theater Biel Solothurn". In 1842, Alexander Kohli who built the arsenal in 1591 converted it into a theater. This small theater in Switzerland, which is bilingual have 280 visitors can attend a performance.

Tier park Biel
This zoo has no fences and no cash. It is a large park with animals (operated by an association) and offers ideal opportunities for picnics.

Fischerei-Park Worb
In this park can enjoy fishing. The restaurant which belongs to the park makes the freshly caught fish prepared in a delicious meal.

In the Museum Neuhaus has created a collection of 19th century interiors of patrician houses, and a collection dedicated to the film industry. Das Kunsthaus Centre d'Art offers a changing exhibition of contemporary art and photography.

Other sights
• For the late 15th century Gothic Town Hall on the Burg square is the source of law.
• Twann, a medieval town near Biel
• La Ville Neuve, with cobbled streets, near the city
• St. Peter Island

History of Biel
• The old, charming town is built for the then current landowner of the area, "Furstbisschof von Basel". The construction was built between 1220 and 1230.
• King Rudolf von Habsburg granted the Biel town city rights in 1275
• In 1564 the plague loose out in Europe, which also hit Biel. At that time the town had only 1200 inhabitants, of whom 640 died.
• Until the 19th century was ruled by prince-bishops of Basel
• In the second half of the 19th century, Biel was linked to the railway network. This was the reason for Biel to expand. Initiatives were taken in the technical revolution, large factories were built to make including watches. Still love Omega, Rolex and Swatch headquarters in Biel.