Bern

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Bern was founded in 1191 by Duke Berchtold V of Zähringen as the western bulwark of his territory, and extended in several stages. In 1353 Bern became the eighth member of the Confederation. After the fire of 1405, the city was rebuilt in sandstone. The mediaeval architecture which arose at that time is still largely intact. Bern reached the zenith of its power in the 14th to 16th centuries and was the most powerful city-state north of the Alps. 1528: Reformation. 1798: invasion of Napoleonic troops and downfall of Old Bern. 1834: Bern acquires a university charter and in 1848 becomes the Swiss federal capital. The city is also capital of the Canton of Bern.