Old Bern sits within a bend of the River Aare. It is not an ancient place, but one of the new towns of the high Middle Ages; according to one chronicle it was founded in 1191, which is probably not far off. Now the town has spread well beyond the old walls and has a population of about 144,000.
back in 2013 so I won't say much here. The Dance of Death window (1441-1450) is very famous, as is the painted sculpture of the Last Judgment over the main entrance. Bern was a very early convert to Protestantism, and was in fact part of the reform movement even before Martin Luther nailed his theses to the church door in Württemberg. According to one version the cathedral had a reformist preacher by 1515, but he was driven out in 1524 as Orthodox Catholicism reasserted itself in the reaction against Luther. But the city was struck by a plague the very next year, which led to city fathers to chase out their bishop and invite reformer Ulrich Zwingli to preach there. Much of the cathedral's sculpture was removed by the reformers, but the Last Judgment remains.
The various moving figures on the outside were added to over the years but now include a parade of bears, a jester, and Chronos, the God of Time.