Central Library

Historical and contemporary

Dairy produce was once sold on the ground floor, and wine stored in the cellars. But between 1787 and 1794, the first floor of the Ankenwaag-Kornhaus was transformed into a magnificent library hall by the architects Niklaus Sprüngli and Lorenz Schmid. Thus Switzerland's first non-ecclesiastical library building was erected on Bern's Münstergasse. Over the next two hundred years the premises were extended and adapted several times to accommodate students, researchers, and all those hungry for knowledge, most recently between 2014 and 2016. With the windows overlooking Marktgasse, the ground floor's original function as a market arcade is now once again recognisable. Inside, the Münstergasse library reveals itself as a spacious place of learning and study with a bright two-storey reading room, premises for events and exhibitions, a special reading room for the most precious of its historical collections, not to mention an array of rooms for group work, and the cafés.

Visitor information

Opening hours
Mon – Fri 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sat 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sun 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Free admission

  • From railway station
    Tram 6, 7, 8 to clock tower (Zytglogge)

  • From the railway station
    Bus 12 to clock tower (Zytglogge)

  • Limited wheelchair access

  • Library
    User cards free
    free entry