The Clock Tower with its famous clock is undoubtedly one of the most important tourist attractions of the city of Berne.
As the city expanded around 1220 from the bend of the river Aare up to the region of today’s Clock Tower a West gate tower was built as part of a defence wall. The town grew very fast and expanded to the West, so that the West gate tower lost more and more its purpose of defence. First transformed into a prison it was immediately reerected, after the fire of 1405, to host a big bell and a mechanical clock. Thus, it was called the Clock Tower ever since.
Though it has undergone many changes, the Clock Tower kept its purpose of announcing the hours to Berne’s people until today. Its time was classified as the main time in the state of Berne. The course of all other clocks was based on the one in the Clock Tower.