Come October, the Bundeshaus parliament building in Bern becomes an object of attention – both for the locals and the thousands of tourists alike: Rendez-vous Bundesplatz.
Why? After the sun sets, a spectacle takes place every evening through the end of November: Rendez-vous Bundesplatz. The Swiss federal capitol building changes colors and turns into the backdrop for a light and sound show.
This year’s theme is "Zeitreise im Paradies," which means so much as "Timetravel in Paradise." The show begins from where METAS is located, a laboratory where some of the world’s most accurate clock are made. That’s so very Swiss - or what?
Rendez-vous Bundesplatz in Bern
As the sun began to set, the sparsely occupied grounds in front of the Bundeshaus transformed into a venue of excitement and anticipation. Clearly, the expectation of a visual treat was high. And the minute it began, all noises died down.
If at all any, they were only the noises of the claps at various intervals. What's more, the weather gods were generous enough to grant us the best weather possible – warm with a hint of slow breeze. And so was inaugurated the spectacle of the month!
First held in 2011, it is no hyperbole to say that the Rendez-vous Bundesplatz has become one of the symbols of Bern Tourism. So much so that tour operators from around the world wish to plan a trip around the time of the event. No wonder that October is a time when you see an influx of tourists wishing to lap up the many goodies Bern has to offer!
Lights, Sounds and Raclette Cheese
At a recent press event, I got to meet a few of the organizers behind the event. I now appreciate that the Rendez-vous Bundesplatz show is the culmination of much hard work and dedication.
Brigitte Roux, the head of Public Relations and Communications at Starlight events, shared with me: "It wasn't easy to convince people to make this happen. We dealt with skepticism in the beginning. And finally, when one hurdle was conquered, there would come another. I remember a man who took care of the potted plants all over the Bundeshaus. He refused to take them down for the show. He did not get the idea of having a backdrop without any hindrances. Exhausted, I told him that we would call for a press conference only to talk about how we could not go ahead with the show because of the plants. And the next day, they were all gone!"
Today, thanks to partnerships with various supporters, this monumental light and sound show is running into its fourth successful year. The first day of this year's show saw an attendance of about 6500 people. This year's attendance is well on the way to outnumber last year's...
As grandly as the show made its entry, the exit would be no less spectacular. On November 30, the world's largest barbeque Raclette would be inaugurated at the Bundeshaus! What’s more, it is open to the public. Representatives from the Guinness Book of World Records are expected to be there to judge. So mark your calendars, get ready for some raclette cheese, and make a record!
If there is any place you wish to go to in October, it has to be Bern. Where else?!