Bern, Bundeshaus. Foto/Photo: TES.

The Federal Palace

The Federal Palace (Bundeshaus), the seat of the Swiss Parliament, is one of the most important monuments in Switzerland.

The building consists of three parts: the West Wing, the Parliament building and the East Wing. Work on the West Wing began in 1852 (after the establishment of the federal state in 1848).

The parliament (Bundesversammlung ) consists of the National Council (Nationalrat), 200 members representing the population, and the Council of States (Ständerat), 46 members representing the 26 (semi) cantons.

The official inauguration of the building took place on 5 June 1857, but the East Wing was not completed until 1884. The central parliament building was built between 1894 and 1902 and completed the complex as it is now known.

The building has all the features of a palace, even a balcony inside. For this reason, it is also called a palace, only the monarchs and aristocracy are lacking.

The Parliamentary Building is a monumental work in the neo-renaissance style with portico and a dome. The rich artistry and construction materials from all regions of the country show the purpose of the building: a national monument for and by the  the cantons, languages, religions and citizens of the country.

The Federal Palace replicates Switzerland by pictures and images covering the three main themes: the founding myths, the constitutional foundations and the religious, linguistic and cultural diversity.

(Source and further information: The Swiss Federation 2018. A Brief Guide, Bern, 2018.