Every city has one: An iconic spot full of history, legends and memories. When it comes to Switzerland's capital Bern, ask any local and they will point at Loebegge (the corner of the Loeb department store).
“Why would a building corner be any special?”, you may wonder.
As we learned during a recent city tour organized by Bern Tourism, the Loeb Corner has been the city’s meeting point as long as people can remember. It is centrally located near the main station, and the store’s entrance serves as a perfect shelter during rain or snow.
Our tour guide highlighted a peculiar detail: In the past, there used to be a store owned telephone mounted on the outside of the entrance. This phone turned out to have an unintended purpose: Whenever someone was running late for a date or a meet-up with friends, they would call the Loeb phone.
Someone waiting near the phone was sure to pick up, take a message and announce it to the crowd: “Chrigu wants Julia to know that he missed the bus and will be 15 minutes late!”
The phone trick must have slowly dwindled with the advent of cellular phones. It was eventually replaced with a golden plaque which can still be found next to the entrance door.
However, the tradition of meeting up at the Loeb Corner in Bern is still alive. In fact, I can almost guarantee that at the moment you are reading this article, there is someone waiting at the Loebegge...
(Pictures copyright by Modessa, Krompholz)