Psychiatrie-Museum Berne: from madhouse to modern clinic

The days when people were thought to be possessed by the devil are long gone. But the exhibition in the Psychiatrie-Museum gives a particularly instructive vision of the progress made in this field. It is certainly impressive. A visit takes us from the mediæval days to the construction of the «madhouse» in 1749. The Foundation of the Waldau Lunatic, Treatment and Nursing Institution was another stage on the path to the present university clinic.

The idea of the museum stems from the Psychiatrist, Walter Morgenthaler. In 1914 he discovered the talent of the Waldau artist Adolf Wölfli and inspired further study of the «Art of the mentally ill». Morgenthaler realised how important the objects in the clinic archives in fact are. The pioneer of psychiatry was instrumental in ensuring that the museum can today draw on its own stock of exhibits for its temporary displays.

Visitor information

Opening hours
Wed - Fri, 2 pm - 5 pm
Open Sat, 2 pm - 5 pm (by prior arrangement no later than Friday 12 noon)
or on request
T: 031 930 97 56

Admission prices CHF 10.–
Students: CHF 5.–
Guided tours: CHF 80.–
Schools: CHF 60.–



Swiss Museum Pass valid


MuseumsPassMusées MPM valid

  • From railway station
    Bus 10 (Waldeck), then
    RBS-Bus 44 (UPD Waldau) –
    or bus 28 from Wankdorf railway station or from Eigerplatz

  • RBS S7 (Worb)
    afterwards RBS 44 (UPD Waldau)

  • Bern-Wankdorf exit
    direction Bolligen

  • Parking spaces available

  • Wheelchair access

  • Café / restaurant
    in the admission clinic

  • Swiss Museum Pass valid