"Buddy Bears and more" Bears Tip by toonsarah
Bears, Berlin: 13 reviews and 23 photos
Berlin’s coat of arms features a black “bear rampant”, that is standing on his hind legs and facing to the left – you will see it everywhere you go. Indeed you will see all sorts of bears, as this has become a sort of unofficial emblem of the city. There are different theories as to why this is, but the most common suggestion is that it relates to Albrecht I, who was nicknamed "the Bear” and who is considered to have been the conqueror and founder of the Margraviate of Brandenburg. Another rather nice theory is that it relates to the German pronunciation of the first syllable of the city’s name which sounds a bit like "Bär" (bear).
Whatever the reason, Berlin is awash with bears! Some of the most colourful and obvious are the Buddy Bears, seen in photos 1 and 3. These are Berlin’s equivalent of the Cow Parade seen in other cities (I have also spotted elephants, rhinos – and even cowboy boots in Wyoming!) Berlin’s version were first seen in 2001 in front of the KaDeWe departments store on the Kurfürstendamn, and today you can see a display of mini Buddy Bears in display cases on the pavement there. They were designed to communicate “a friendly attitude and optimism” and have since been bought and transported to other cities and countries, so are seen as global ambassadors for Berlin. See how many you can spot around the city!
You will also find bears on innumerable souvenirs (key chains, fridge magnets, tea-towels, t-shirts, etc. etc). It might be fun if you’re travelling with children to play a game of bear bingo! Children (and grown-up children!) will also want to visit the specialist shop in the Nicholaiviertal which sell bears in all shapes and sizes – see photo 2.
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