I was in Bern for work last week, so I took the opportunity to drop by the Einstein Haus (or Einstein House).
Albert Einstein lived in Bern for several years after graduating from university. He worked at the patent office here, but was simultaneously writing physics papers. The apartment where he lived from 1903 to 1905, right in the center of Bern, is now a small museum. One floor is the former living area, where you can sit at the dining table and look at family photos on the wall.
The upstairs apartment has been converted to an exhibit about Einstein’s life. There’s a case with his passport in it, and a famous photo of many well-known physicists at a Solvay convention.
All along the walls of that floor are panels with information about historical events in Einstein’s life. The first few of them all emphasize how much of a mediocre student he was. He wasn’t terrible, but all through university he seemed to have struggled, which was why he didn’t go straight to academia, but found work in the patent office instead.
One of the last panels was about his life as a musician. I was most interested in that, for my “musisci” project, and on my way out of the museum I bought a small booklet (in German) produced by the museum, all about Einstein and his violin.
The Einstein Haus is a very small and unassuming museum, and from the street you can barely spot it unless you know where you’re going, but well worth a visit if you’re ever in Bern.