Swiss Culture Students Visit Bern
A group of international students and their professor, Dr. Maryvelma O’Neil, enjoyed a very memorable study trip to Bern on the Saturday of 7 July . The group visited the Kunstmuseum, the oldest art museum in Switzerland, stopping with special attention to study Swiss artists in the collection – Paul Klee, Alberto Giacometti and Meret Oppenheim.
For student, Alexander Tugashev, the visit to the Swiss Federal Parliament “was the highlight of the excursion,” a sentiment echoed by others. The group visited the Council of States, where two members representing each of the 26 cantons Switzerland meet. In the National Council chamber 200 members elected by a system of proportional representation are seated before a majestic mural by Genevese painter, Charles Giron (1901). The Cradle of the Confederation depicts the Rütli, an Alpine meadow, where the three first cantons of the Old Swiss Confederacy took a legendary oath on 1 August 1291, the Swiss National Day.
The visit concluded with a walking tour through the UNESCO World Heritage protected historic center which was was full of lively impressions. Dr. O'Neil said, "we almost fell off the worn oak pews in the medieval Bern Minster when the great organ suddenly peeled forth. Splendid views over the Aare river cast the historic city in a sparking emerald flow as we headed home by train through luscious summer countryside."