Although a mouthful, the name actually means ‘‘clock tower’’.
It was built in 1191 as a city gate and has since served many roles including a guard tower, prison, lookout tower and finally, clock tower. As it is right in the city centre, it became Bern’s official timekeeper so the time of all the other clocks was based on this one. People still gather around it on the hour, every hour to watch the medieval figurines appear and dance around. Tours are available to explore the tower’s inner workings, history and climb the 130 steps for an Old Town view.