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    BERN or BERNE is the de facto capital of SWITZERLAND, referred to by the SWISS as their „federal city", in German Bundesstadt.
   With a population of about 140,000 (as of 2019), BERN is the fifth-most populous city in SWITZERLAND.
   BERN is also the capital of the canton of BERN, the second-most populous of Switzerland's cantons.
   The official language in BERN is (the Swiss variety of Standard) German, but the most-spoken language is an Alemannic Swiss German dialect, Bernese German.
   According to the local legend, based on folk etymology, BERCHTOLD V, Duke of ZÄHRINGEN, the founder of the city of BERN, vowed to name the city after the first animal he met on the hunt, and this turned out to be a bear.
    It has long been considered likely that the city was named after the Italian city of VERONA, which at the time was known as Bern in Middle High German.
    The city grew out towards the west of the boundaries of the peninsula formed by the river AARE.
    A number of congresses of the socialist First and Second Internationals were held in BERN, particularly during World War I when SWITZERLAND was neutral (i.s.).



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