The canton of Bern or Berne (German: Kanton Bern; French: canton de Berne) is the second-largest of the 26 Swiss cantons by both surface area and population. Located in west-central Switzerland, it borders the canton of Jura and the canton of Solothurn to the north. To the west lie the canton of Neuchâtel, the canton of Fribourg and canton of Vaud. To the south lies the canton of Valais. East of the canton of Bern lie the cantons of Uri, Nidwalden, Obwalden, Lucerne and Aargau.
The history of the city of Bern proper begins when Berthold V, Duke of Zähringen founded the city in the late 12th century - 1191 being the official date.
Bern joined the Old Swiss Confederation in 1353. It issued its own coinage until the formation of the modern federal state of Switzerland in 1848 which imposed a single currency in 1850, replacing all former cantonal and city currencies.