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As Albert Einstein discovered to his delight in 1902, the weather has been bested in Bern. "Both sides of the road are completely lined by old arcades so that one can stroll from one end of the city to the other in the worst downpour without getting noticeably wet," he wrote to his fiancée in 1902. Sturdy 15th-century pillars support the low vaulted roofs of these picturesque Lauben (arcades), which extend to the edge of the sidewalk along miles of Altstadt streets. Steeply angled cellar doors at street level lead down to additional underground eateries and businesses, while brilliantly colored and carved Brunnen (fountains), historically the city's water sources and congregation points, punctuate the main thoroughfares. Ten of the most prominent fountains are the work of Hans Gieng, who created them between 1542 and 1549.
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