Bear pit, Bern

35 Reviews

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  • The old Bear Pit
    The old Bear Pit
    by slothtraveller
  • The large bear, Finn, yawning
    The large bear, Finn, yawning
    by slothtraveller
  • The bears
    The bears
    by slothtraveller
  • Hosell's Profile Photo

    BEAR PIT

    by Hosell Updated Feb 25, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Bears Pit (Barengraben) is located just entering the city and crossing Nydeggbrucke Bridge over Aare river.The bears have been Bern's heraldic animal for seven centuries,and they still being the symbol of the city and of the whole canton aswell.

    From here we started our nice and long walked tour in the old town.
    I noticed that people were feeding the bears,with some small chocolates and fruits, I didn't see any sign to say that it was forbidden to feed them, so I'm not sure but you can give something to eat to the bears on the pit.It is open to public from 8 a.m to 6 p.m..

    They looks very nice and funny and this place is always full of tourists!!.

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  • Polly74's Profile Photo

    Sad Bear pits

    by Polly74 Written Feb 4, 2005
    Sad bears

    At the bridgehead across the river is the rather sad Bärengraben (bear pits; daily May–Sept 8am–6pm, Oct–April 9am–4pm), two large sunken dens which have housed a collection of shaggy brown bears – the symbol of Bern – since the early sixteenth century. The current occupants may look as if they’re struggling to find a reason to go on with life, but don’t be fooled; late one night in 1998, an unfortunate beer-happy individual fell into the pit, was welcomed by its occupants and didn’t survive to tell the tale.

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  • Rhondaj's Profile Photo

    Had said I wouldn't...

    by Rhondaj Written Nov 15, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Is it happy there?

    visit the bear pit. We walked the length of the old town, crossing the Nydeggbruecke (bridge), and there to the right were the bear pits. So we went and looked. Wasn't as bad as I imagined. There were ponds and greenery but still...

    There is a huge information center with public toilets right next to the pits, so that was good.

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  • edmas's Profile Photo

    Pretty Poor Bears

    by edmas Written Nov 12, 2004
    3 Bears

    Although stated as an attraction in the guides. I think the Bear Pit is quite a miserable sight. At first it is quite exciting to see the bears, however, after a couple of minutes, one would feel sorry for them because they are being kept in a small pit that is about 5 meters deep. Bears being animal that need large places to roam about, the pit is obviously too small for them to find enough things to do. Some miserable toys hung from broken tree to keep them occupied, added to the state of pity.

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  • littlesam1's Profile Photo

    Barengraben - The Bear Pits

    by littlesam1 Updated Oct 15, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Today they will only allow five bears to live in the pits at one time. I was told this was for the bears comfort and safety. There were several large bears and some smaller baby bears when I visited. And I counted and yes there were only five bears that I could find.

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  • littlesam1's Profile Photo

    Barengraben - Bear Pit

    by littlesam1 Updated Oct 15, 2003

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Terrifying bear?

    As I mentioned on the opening page there is an actual bear pit in Bern. This pit is in the city just across the Nydeggbrucke Bridge over the Aare River. The pit is open daily from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. The bears have been living here in the pits in Bern since the 16th century. Recently animal activists have made complaints about the living conditions but the bears remain.

    This bear really looks angry and if you enlarge the picture it looks like he is growling and is ready to attack someone. However if you look at the top of the pit just over the bears head you will see a tourist pouring Coca Cola out of a bottle above the bear. The bear was catching the drink in his mouth and seemed to be enjoying it.

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  • PartyRambo's Profile Photo

    The Bear Pit

    by PartyRambo Written Mar 25, 2003

    It is unfortunate that the city is as well known for the Bear Pit as it is - it is quite simply, sad to see.
    In conditions that any reputable zookeeper would deplore, 3 or 4 brown bears are kept here, representing the city.
    The pit - a circle of concrete & gravel, sits just on the other side of the river from the Old Town, and should not be missed, even though it's a sorry-looking thing.

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  • btex's Profile Photo

    see the bears

    by btex Updated Mar 4, 2003

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    let me out!

    For some reason, they keep a few bears in a pit in Bern. Maybe, it's because Berne was named after the wild bears they used to hunt in the area. Bern has kept bear pits since the late 15th century. Anyhow, they're just there...being bears...looking kind of bored.

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  • Venturingnow's Profile Photo

    The Barengraben, or Bear...

    by Venturingnow Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Barengraben, or Bear pits. These 'pits' are located on the opposite side of the Aare river from the city. Just cross the bridge and they are directly to your right. There's about 5 bears out at each time, and they just roam around these pits out in sun, rain, snow, etc.

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  • Michael_D's Profile Photo

    The famous Barengrabben or...

    by Michael_D Written Aug 24, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The famous Barengrabben or bear pits are just accross the Nydegg Bridge, which itself offers a majestic view of the Aare as you walk to the moon-shaped bear pits.People throw carrots for the bears to eat these days but, when I was there the first time in 1972 we were given the rather less-healthy marshmallow to launch at them. Frankly marshmallows make more accurate projectiles and I actually think the bears looked healthier back then.;-)

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  • Bärengraben (Bear Pits)

    by sabsi Written Aug 24, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    B��rengraben

    Since the late 15th century the city of Bern keeps some bears - Bern's heraldic animal - in pits in the city.
    You can feed them and they dance for you if they have a good day! But it's hard to have a good day if you live in a concrete hole in the ground I guess...

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  • BlueFox's Profile Photo

    walk down from the...

    by BlueFox Written Aug 24, 2002

    1 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    walk down from the trainstation to the 'bärengraben' (bear pits). the bears are the blazonry of bern, so there are some of those teddys to see. but it's the walk trough the whole downtown which makes worth this walk and you can see most of the specials, bern has to offer.

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  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo

    BarenGraben

    by Jim_Eliason Updated Dec 2, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    BarenGraben
    2 more images

    The bear pit contains the cities' namesake and similar type enclosures have been here since the middle ages, albeit not as humane as the current one. The bear is on display from 9 to 5.

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    • Zoo
    • Family Travel

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  • Odiseya's Profile Photo

    Bärengraben

    by Odiseya Written Nov 5, 2012
    Bears

    Accessible to people of restricted mobility - visiting: Mar-Oct: 9.30am-5pm; Nov-Feb: 9.30am-4.30pm for free.

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    • Theme Park Trips

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  • Odiseya's Profile Photo

    Bears in the city of bear

    by Odiseya Written Nov 5, 2012
    Bear in Bern

    Since the late 15 century, the bears have been very popular in Bern. This attraction is visited by tourists and inhabitants of the city.

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    • Historical Travel
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel

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