Mosesbrunnen, Bern

4.5
#5 of 13 in Historic Sites in Bern
The Mosesbrunnen is a fountain on Münsterplatz in the Old City of Bern, Switzerland. It is a Swiss Cultural Property of National Significance and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Old City of Bern.HistoryThe statue dates from 1544. After storm damage it was rebuilt in 1790-1791. The Louis XVI style basin was designed by Niklaus Sprüngli. The statue represents Moses bringing the Ten Commandments to the Tribes of Israel. Moses is portrayed with two rays of light projecting from his head, which represent which tells that after meeting with God the skin of Moses' face became radiant. The twin rays of light come from a longstanding tradition that Moses instead grew horns.Most commentators have simply said that Jerome mistranslated קָרַ֔ן (qāran) as “horned” rather than “radiant.” But Bena Elisha Medjuck, a McGill University Department of Jewish Studies graduate student, offered a more complex explanation in his 1988 thesis “Exodus 34:29-35: Moses’ ‘Horns’ in Early Bible Translation and Interpretation.” Medjuck explains that Jerome was well-acquainted both with the variant meanings of qāran and with the prevailing translation of his contemporary Jewish scholars – with whom he consulted! Jerome chose the “horned” translation as metaphor faithful to the text: a depiction of Moses’ strength and authority, and a glorification of the Lord! Jerome even explained this in his accompanying commentary!
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4.6
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  • The Moses fountain is located at the open square across from the Münster church. This fountain displays Moses holding the 10 Commandments. The base of the fountain has a somewhat scaled design with fi...  more »
  • The striking and colourful Mosesbrunnen Statue dates to 1544, and represents Moses bringing the 10 Commandments to the Tribes of Israel.  more »
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  • If you walk from the main train station it will take you some 15 minutes to reach Münsterplatz, where you will not only find this fountain, but also the Cathedral of Bern. This fountain dates from the 16th century and as its name suggests it shows Moses bringing the Ten Commandments to the Tribes of Israel.
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