Bern, Bundeshaus. Foto/Photo: TES.

The Federal Palace

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

The building consists of three parts: the West Wing, the Central Building and the East Wing. Work on the West Wing began in 1852 (after the foundation of the Confederation in 1848).

The parliament (Bundesversammlung ) has two chambers: the National Council (Nationalrat) with 200 members (representing the population) and the Council of States (Ständerat) with 46 members representing the 26 cantons.

The official inauguration of the building took place on 5 June 1857. The East Wing was completed in 1884. The central part of the palace was built between 1894 and 1902.

The building is called a palace because it has all the features of a palace, including a ‘royal’ balcony. Only the monarchs and aristocrats are lacking.

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