Bern is beautiful but not all of its buildings are. Many are splendid, some are disasters. In among the gems are some really hideous examples of architectural failure, partly from the Swiss love of concrete and partly from the taste by-pass that happened between 1950 and 1990. Bern has some wonderful buildings, as this post shows, but sadly the town planners sometimes approve so true horrors. It’s quite a shock still for me sometimes to be walking down a normal street lined with 19th century villas or 1930s blocks of flats, only to find a monstrous block of concrete dumped in the middle of it all. Completely out of place and out of keeping with the other buildings. Such a shame.
The old town is protected from such calamities by being protected by Unesco Heritage status so luckily there are almost no examples of past mistakes. But walk a few streets away from the historic centre and you’ll easily spot an eyesore or two, ones that are bad enough to bring tears to your eyes. At least it proves that Switzerland isn’t always picture-postcard pretty.
Here are my candidates for the title of Ugliest Building in Bern, in no particular order and no particular part of town. A hotel, an embassy, a church, an office block and various flats. Which gets your vote as Bern’s worst building – the title picture or one of the ones below?
For more on the city, see Ten essential facts about Bern, from why the street signs are different colours to The Miracle of Bern.