On first sight, Bern’s Käfigturm (cage tower) is just the less attractive sister of the grand Zytglogge a bit further down the road. But while the famous clock tower is only accessible by guided tours, the cage tower is open for the public and free to enter. Sometimes I come here just to enjoy the view onto the busy cobblestone main street down there in the canyon of medieval houses.
But the cage tower (yes, it was once the city prison) is much more than a fancy viewpoint. It actually is an information bureau for everyone interested in the Swiss political system with regular discussions about current policy issues and sometimes very interesting exhibitions (in German, French and English) shown on the top floor. So if you are interested in figuring out why the Swiss are voting about banning minarets, six weeks of holidays, how many horns a cow is supposed to have and why bicycles should be mentioned in the constitution – you’re at the right spot!