Bern has boasted a bear pit, the Barengraben, ... More since the 16th century, and the current Bear Pits have been in the same location since 1857, although they have been renovated extensively from 1995 to 96 to create a more suitable environment for the bears. There are plans to turn the Bear Pits into a Bear Park, which would allow the bears to swim and fish in the river freely.
The Botanical Gardens contain a wide selection of alpine plants, which provide visitors with an insider’s view of Swiss flora. The gardens extend over a 2 hectare area in the centre of the city, containing seven greenhouses in total. The Zoological Gardens , nestled between the river and the Dahlholzi Forest, house two hundred species of animals.
The House of Parliament is home to the Swiss government and to the Parliament, and is open to public visitors. Parliament Square was reconstructed in 2004, and now, instead of just serving as a car park, hosts traditional markets as well as a monument of fountains representing the 26 cantons of Switzerland.
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