Bears, Berlin

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  • Bears in the Nicolaiviertal
    Bears in the Nicolaiviertal
    by toonsarah
  • Bears
    by elpariente
  • Buddy Bear at Alexanderplatz
    Buddy Bear at Alexanderplatz
    by toonsarah
  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    Buddy Bears and more

    by toonsarah Written Jun 18, 2011

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    Buddy bear with transport map
    2 more images

    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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  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo

    Brown bear

    by matcrazy1 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    BROWN  BEAR  IN  UNTER  DEN  LINDEN

    In this part of Europe brown bears (Ursus arctos) lived in the past. They are sometimes called a grizzly in North America. They survived at some parts of central Europe: approx. 30-35 in Poland and many more on Berlin's representative boulevard called Unter den Linden as you can see on my picture.

    You can buy the Berlin mascot, a cuddly bear to hug and hold available in various sizes, with crown and sash, a heart or Berlin bear-flag. If you like them. The prize varied from 1.30 ? to 7.60 ? for a small bear up to over 30 ? for a large one. This one on my picture was not on sale :-).

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  • elpariente's Profile Photo

    El Oso de - Berlín - Bear

    by elpariente Written Mar 6, 2010

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    4 more images

    El oso es el símbolo de Berlín , aparece en su escudo , está presente en monumentos y en múltiples recuerdos
    En Berlín se creó una asociación benéfica llamada BuddyBear Berlín ( BBB ) en el 2001 que hizo su primera exposición delante de KaDeWe . Se pretendía que los Berlineses y los visitantes disfrutaran de las esculturas de osos pintados . La postura de los "Buddy Bears" con los brazos levantados y su altura de dos metros comunica una actitud de amistad y optimismo y están pintados de colores con los motivos más diversos
    Desde el primer día se aceptaron como una parte integrante de las calles de Berlín y han extendido sus actividades por todo el mundo

    The bear is the symbol of Berlin, it appears on its coat of arms , is present in monuments and in many souvenirs
    In Berlin was created a charity organization called BuddyBear Berlin (BBB) in 2001 which made its first presentation in front of KaDeWe. It was intended that the Berliners and visitors enjoy the painted bear sculptures.
    The position of the "Buddy Bears" with their arms raised and the height of two meters , communicates an attitude of friendship and optimism and they are painted in colours with different motifs
    From the first day they were accepted as an integral part of the streets of Berlin and they have extended their activities throughout the world

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  • Helga67's Profile Photo

    Symbol of Berlin

    by Helga67 Updated Mar 30, 2008

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    Berlin bear
    2 more images

    Bears are the symbol of Berlin. You can find a bear on the city's coat of arms, but also everywhere on the streets. You will see them in different colours, mostly standing up. It's fun to look for them and make pictures.

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  • smirnofforiginal's Profile Photo

    Grrrr

    by smirnofforiginal Written Aug 23, 2007

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    1 more image

    Cows in Switzerland, lions in Munich and bears in Berlin.... loads of them - everywhere - standing outside shops advertising their wares, on balconies supposedly supporting the building, along the street adding a bit of art and colour, from around the world organised into alphabetical order and called the "Buddy Bears". These Gentle Ben's are absolutely everywhere and most of them have their forearms (if bears front legs can indeed be called forearms) upright, looking rather shocked or as though they have been taken hostage at gun point!

    I don't usually get touristy photos of myself and neither do I usually put photos of me on VT but, with this bear.... my friend and I just couldn't resist (I'm the one faking the cheesey grin on the left whilst my retinas were being burnt out by the sun whilst waiting for the shutter to snap shut!)... Oh, and the second photo... is to show that whilst rare in Berlin, some bears do stand like bears should!

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  • yooperprof's Profile Photo

    Berliner Bears

    by yooperprof Written Dec 14, 2004

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    the bear facts

    Bears are quite common in the Berlin region - the statuary kind.

    A "Bear Rampant" (that means standing up) features very prominently on the official seal of the City of Berlin.

    BUT, contrary to popular belief, the origins of the city name "Berlin" have nothing to do with Bears. "Berlin" seems to derive from an older Slavic word, "Brl", which means "marsh" or "very damp place". There you have it.

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  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo

    Mascot and symbol of Berlin

    by matcrazy1 Updated Apr 18, 2004

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    BERLIN'S  BEAR (KITSCHY  VERSION :-)

    The symbol of Berlin is a bear. Nobody knows why. Surely the bears lived in that area long time ago when the first bear was used on official correspondance in 1280.

    Nowadays a bear is a mascot of Berlin and it's present on a flag of Berlin, on a coat of arms of Berlin and easy to find in each souvenir store. The prize of famous Berlin International Film Festival is Golden Bear statue whereas it's Golden Palm in Cannes, France and Golden Lion in Venice, Italy. It seems that Europe loves gold colour :-).

    There were two diffirent bears on the two different coat of arms during cold war when the city was divided into two parts. Now, hmm... some bears look somewhat strange and kitschy as you can see on my picture.

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  • barryg23's Profile Photo

    Bears

    by barryg23 Updated Jun 12, 2003

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    Berlin Bear

    These bears are just everywhere! I think the bear is the mascot of Berlin - not sure where this originated from but you will see these bears all over the city. Each one is unique in its own way and they provide great picture opportunities.

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  • Berlin Bears

    by sabsi Written May 24, 2003

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    An eqyptian bear

    The symbol for the city of Berlin has been the bear for more than 700 years. It was first used on official correspondance in 1280 and is still part of the city's coat of arms.

    When Berlin was divided there were two different bears on two different coats of arms.

    Nobody really knows for sure why the bear was choses as the city "mascot" but probably it's because the German word for it "Bär" is quite close to the sound of the word Berlin.

    If you have a close look you will find bear all over Berlin!

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  • MichaelFalk1969's Profile Photo

    Berlin Bear

    by MichaelFalk1969 Written Apr 2, 2007

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    As Berlin is named after a bear (part of its coat of arms) bears are omnipresent in tourist shops, as you can see in the photograph!

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  • chancay's Profile Photo

    Berlin bear

    by chancay Written Nov 1, 2004

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    traditionally the bear is the symbol animal of the city, though you find everywhere in Berlin smaller or bigger bears in the streets like here near to the Europa center.

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  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    Bears

    by richiecdisc Written Mar 24, 2003

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    stuffed bears anyone?

    The city's mascot is the bear, you'll see them on crests, flags, and even stuffed and on sale at tourist shops like this motley if cute crew.

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