The French Church

Today, the French Church in Bern is much more than just a place of prayer and refuge. Once known as the “preachers’ church” or the “Latin church”, the French Church is now the oldest sacred building in the capital and attracts fans of architecture, art and culture alike.

The place of worship was built in the 13th century by the local Dominicans, who were also known as “preachers”, hence the name “preachers’ church”. From 1623 onward it served the Protestant community and was home to French church services. Later, the church became known as a safe haven for the Huguenots.

Art and architecture

Located just a stone’s throw away from the Kornhaus granary and Bern’s Lower Old Town, the French Church’s architectural and artistic elements are a monument to the past. Gothic pillars with high, narrow windows are combined with the austerity of the Reformation. The wooden ceiling panels in the central nave are complemented by meticulously painted wall murals around the triumphal arches. Art lovers can feast their eyes on the Nelkenmeister frescoes and test their eyesight searching for the two hidden “Nägeli”.

An ornate organ adorns the wall on the rood screen above the altar. Its unmistakable tones (the organ is one of the best in the city), along with the choral concerts and musical productions of major works, regularly flood the church’s interior with imposing, harmonious and polyphonic melodies. The French Church’s splendid acoustics ensure that concerts are truly memorable experiences.

  • Church services
    1st Sunday of the month 10:00 a.m.
    2nd Sunday of the month 10:00 a.m.
    3rd Sunday of the month 10:00 a.m.
    4th Sunday of the month 6:00 p.m.
    Advent, Easter and Pentecost 10:00 a.m.
  • Opening Times
    Tuesday - Friday 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
    Saturday 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
    Sunday 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

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