The 26 fountains of the Parliament Square’s water display represent the 26 cantons of Switzerland. Sometimes in rhythm, sometimes randomly, the water sprays up to seven metres into the air. This image is quite amazing in many regards. Such a sight would be practically unthinkable in front of other seats of government.
The expansive Bundesplatz is a lively meeting place for young and old alike. The Parliament Building, the centre of Swiss democracy, rises loftily from behind the square. The parliament and the Swiss federal government meet under its mighty dome.
Up until 2003, however, the Parliament Square was a dreary, crowded parking area. The square then underwent a radical transformation and neither trees nor parked cars have obstructed the view of the Parliament Building ever since. A 180-square metre rectangle covered with dark slabs of Vals gneiss lends an elegant touch to the square.
In addition to the weekly markets, which are held every Tuesday and Saturday, the square provides a setting for political demonstrations, concerts, state receptions and sporting events.