Bern Switzerland Temple

“Bern Switzerland Temple,” Ensign, Feb. 2010, 71

Temple Spotlight

Bern Switzerland Temple

In 1906 only four temples were in operation, all of them in Utah. In that year President Joseph F. Smith (1838–1918) prophesied at Bern, Switzerland, that “the time will come … when temples of God … will be erected in the divers countries of the earth, for the gospel must spread over all the world.”1 Nearly half a century later, on September 11, 1955, President David O. McKay (1873–1970) dedicated the first temple in Europe, just outside of Bern.

The temple is located in a beautiful alpine setting at Zollikofen. Its tower pierces the sky at a height of 140 feet (43 m), with an angel Moroni figure added in 2005.

President McKay had evidently seen the temple in vision and described it in such detail to Church architect Edward O. Anderson that he was able to reproduce it on paper. As the design process proceeded, the initial drawing was modified. Upon seeing the latest drawings, President McKay said, “Brother Anderson, that is not the temple that you and I saw together.” The final drawings, needless to say, reflected President McKay’s original description.


  1. In “Latter-day Temples,” Ensign, Jan. 1972, 30.

President David O. McKay (center) and other Church leaders at the dedication of the Bern Switzerland Temple in 1955.