Klingende Sammlung – Bern, Switzerland - Atlas Obscura

Klingende Sammlung

An amazing collection of rare wind instruments where visitors can give the iconic Swiss Alphorn a toot.  


Located in the old town of Bern, a small museum displays a large collection of historical brass and woodwind and brass instruments, mostly from the 18th and 19th centuries. Here, visitors can learn about how the symphony orchestra was created, as well as try to play both known and exotic instruments themselves. 

The museum is based on the vast collection of Bernese citizen Karl Burri, who was a trained craftsman and salesman of musical instruments in Bern. The museum also acts as a research institution. Scholars from across the globe visit the Klingende Sammlung to study instruments and understand the evolution of music. 

One of the most fascinating types of instruments housed here is the alphorn. Often measuring more than eight feet long, these wind instruments are Swiss icons, with their invention dating back to the 16th century. Some of the alphorns at Klingende Sammlung can even be played. The museum has several rare instruments, as well as replicas of ancient horns used by the Romans and prehistoric tribes.

Know Before You Go

The museum is open from Wednesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. See the website for prices. 

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August 29, 2019

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