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Kramgasse

What Does Kramgasse Mean? What Is It?

The Kramgasse translates in English to “Grocers Alley”, and it is one of the main streets in the Old City of Bern, the medieval city center in the capital of Switzerland. It was once the center of urban life in Bern up until the 1800s. Now, it is a big shopping street. Its length, curve, and all the Baroque facades come together to create quite an impressive look. It’s a beautiful streetscape for sure. 

The Kramgasse, as well as the buidlings there, are Swiss heritage sites of national significance, and they are part of the UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Site that entails the entire Old City. 

You cannot reach the Kramgasse by car without procuring a special permit. You can get to it by foot, bike, or on a bus line. There is a bus that runs the street, and it has stops at either end. Both sides of the street are covered with stone arcades that protect people from bad weather.

History

The Kramgasse used to be known as “Market Alley”, but that ended in the 1400s. It was referred as the Vordere Gasse in the 1500s. The name changes reflect how the street itself changed. In medieval times, it was the marketplace for the city, but the market stands were replaced mostly by stores after the Reformation. The street stayed as the commercial part of the city until the mid-1800s, and it was an extremely busy market street in the 1840s.

Buildings

Apart from a couple of cellars, there are just remnants of the current buildings on the Kramgasse that date back to before the 16th century. A lot of the private town houses still have design elements from the Late Gothic period. There aren’t very many preserved 17th century facades. In the early to mid-1700s, the facades and some of the interiors of most of the buildings on the street were redesigned in the Baroque style, and many of them were done by a famous architect named Albrecht Sturler.

There are three fountains on the street.

Amenities

The Kramgasse is one of the most popular upmarket shopping streets in Bern. It has a number of drugstores, antiquaries, banks, stores, bookstores, boutiques, furniture stores, watch dealerships, and restaurants.

The oldest cinema in Bern, the Capital, is also located in Bern, and there are several smaller theaters as well, mostly located in the medieval cellars.

Kramgasse Photo Gallery

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