Location: Münsterplattform, Bern, Switzerland [MAP]
Designer: Samuel Frisching
Project Type: Urban Agriculture
Completion Date: 1705
Access: On foot via a covered stairway, however a manned lift is available for a small fee.
The small medieval city of Bern has an array of hidden treasures for the curious traveller. The majority of the city centre can be explored along the main axis between the train station and the River Aare, where the famous Bern Bears reside. However, if you are itching to explore something off the beaten path, take a stroll to Münsterplattform and have a look over the edge…
Here you will see a series of green terraces overflowing with allotments dotted with flowers and small niches in which to sit. Although the terraced gardens are private, they create a beautifully appealing patchwork of colour to look down upon.
Initially it is not clear how to get down to these gardens, but on closer inspection a steep, narrow staircase covered by a roof of red tiles, allows you to meander down the hill, the railings on the side allowing for a peeking down towards these beautiful gardens. There is also a manned lift, which costs just a few Francs if you want to skip the stairs, but I recommend the decent by foot if you can, then take the lift back up!
On the walk down, you can glimpse into the private gardens which lay beyond the padlocked gates. Ripe vegetables and bright flowers spill out of beds, meticulously trained grape vines crawl up the terrace walls and small niches between the plants host a table and chair for a quiet moment with a glass of wine. What envy I have for the lucky ones who can access these gardens, to enter such a paradise within the Swiss capitol!