The Federal Council has four meeting and reception rooms at its disposal on the 1st floor of the west wing of the Federal Palace.
Federal Council chamber
The Federal Council chamber, decorated in the Renaissance style, is often referred to as the ‘Chalet fédéral’ due its wood-panelling and furniture from 1889. The stucco ceiling and chandelier are original dating back to 1857. The chandelier is one of the oldest existing gas lamps in the city of Bern. This is where the Federal Council meetings are held.
The president sits at the front in the middle. The federal chancellor and one of the two vice chancellors are seated to the right. The other vice chancellor (Federal Council spokesperson) sits on the left. The desks of the six federal councillors are arranged in a semicircle. The vice president and the longest serving member of the Federal Council sit in the middle of the semicircle, while the ‘junior’ members are seated at the edge.
The fireplace is all that is left of the antechamber’s original furnishings from 1857. In 1930 the antechamber was remodelled and decorated with art deco panelling. This is where the federal councillors have something to drink and a bite to eat during break, if indeed they take a break. This is also where the federal councillors have lunch together from time to time.
The 'Salon de la présidence'
The ‘Salon de la présidence’, which was renovated in baroque style in 1889, is a reception room. It is used on special occasions such as for courtesy visits by dignitaries, diplomatic accreditation ceremonies, etc. This is where the Federal Council receives new colleagues after their election.
The 'Bureau de la présidence'
The ‘Bureau de la présidence’, decorated in rococo style, is adorned with tapestries and paintings by Le Corbusier. Today it is used as a second meeting room. The ‘Bureau du Président’ is used to host meetings between the Federal Council and the Chairman of the Governing Board of the Swiss National Bank or the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA.
Last modification 11.01.2023