A town where Einstein once lived has become a prime selfie spot

Tourism officials in Bern, Switzerland, just erected 4 statues that honor the world's favorite genius.

Looking for the perfect souvenir photo? Why not take one with Albert Einstein?

The city of Bern, Switzerland – where Einstein lived while he worked at the Swiss Patent Office – has just erected four benches bearing statues of the Nobel Prize-winning scientist sitting on them. The town is encouraging tourists to snap selfies with the beloved genius and post them to Instagram with the hashtags #ilovebern and #einsteinselfie.

People are so excited about the benches that the first snap-happy tourists began taking selfies even before the concrete foundation had been put in. "It is fantastic to see how people react. People seem to love taking pictures with Albert and treat the sculpture with respect," said Michael Keller, the president of Bern Tourism, the group behind the new benches.

A tourist shows her affection for Albert Einstein.A tourist shows her affection for Albert Einstein at one of the Bern benches. (Photo: Courtesy photo)

"Albert Einstein was probably the most famous inhabitant of Bern, and it was here where he developed most of the famous theory of relativity," Keller told From The Grapevine. "And the bench is perfect for Bern as the city is known to be very relaxed and laid-back and has a lot of unique spots with a beautiful panorama."

Indeed, one of the benches is located at Bern's Instagram-worthy Rose Garden, a favorite spot of Einstein and his wife. The other benches are at the University of Bern and in front of a restaurant near a city park. Next week, they will place a fourth bench in front of the Einstein Museum, the world's largest Einstein exhibition.

The Einstein Museum in Bern is one of the world's largest exhibitions devoted to the genius.The Einstein Museum in Bern is one of the world's largest exhibitions devoted to the genius. (Photo: Facebook)

Einstein lived in Bern from 1902-1909, shortly after he finished college. The bench statues reflect his relative youth, and depict the budding scientist in his 20s, the age he was when he lived there. His time in the Swiss town is significant because it's where Einstein spent 1905, known as "The Miracle Year" when he wrote four significant papers that contributed substantially to the foundation of modern physics, and radically transformed views on space, time and matter. (The Einstein estate – which is run out of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a school Einstein helped establish – even sells a "1905 The Miracle Year" hoodie.)

So what would Einstein have thought of the benches? "I hope that he would have liked them," Keller told us. "The benches are dedicated to him and were created to honor his discoveries. I hope he would have liked to see the appreciation of the people and to give them the opportunity to take a rest beside him."

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