Free Walking Tour Berlin

When: Every day 10am & 12pm every day
Where: The meeting point is in front of the ehemaliges Kaiserliches Postfuhramt Berlin, Oranienburger Straße, 10117 Berlin, Germany, next to the entrance.
Price: Free

Why is the Berlin Bear so Prominent in Statues and Signs?

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Walking Tour

When exploring the vibrant city of Berlin, you will undoubtedly come across an adorable and ubiquitous symbol – the Berlin Bear. Whether depicted in statues, signs, or even as plush toys, the bear is deeply ingrained in the city’s culture and history. But why exactly is it such a prominent figure? Let’s dive into the fascinating world of the Berlin Bear and uncover its significance.

The Symbolism of the Bear

The bear has been a symbol associated with Berlin for centuries. It represents strength, resilience, and protection. It is believed that the name “Berlin” itself has origins in the Old Polabian language, where it meant “swamp,” a habitat often inhabited by bears.

Throughout history, Berlin has faced numerous challenges such as wars and the division of the city. Nevertheless, like a bear protecting its young, Berlin has shown resilience and emerged stronger. The bear symbolizes this indomitable spirit that is deeply intertwined in the fabric of the city’s identity.

The Ampelmann and the Bear

One of the most iconic representations of the Berlin Bear can be found in the Ampelmann. These traffic lights, featuring a little green or red man, are a beloved symbol of Berlin’s traffic culture. Interestingly, the Ampelmann itself has a story to tell about the Berlin Bear.

In the German Democratic Republic (GDR) era, the Ampelmann was introduced to make pedestrian signals more visible. The figure was designed by traffic psychologist Karl Peglau, who incorporated the bear into the design. The Ampelmann has become a symbol of the peaceful revolution in East Germany, reflecting the city’s determination to protect its citizens.

Statues of the Berlin Bear

Walking around the city, you will encounter numerous statues of the Berlin Bear, each with its distinct charm. Here are a few notable ones:

The Bear at the Brandenburg Gate

Located at one of Berlin’s most famous landmarks, the Brandenburg Gate, you will find a statue of a bear with a crown. This bear represents the historical royal bear pits, which were once located near this iconic site.

Unter den Linden Bear

At the bustling avenue Unter den Linden, you will encounter a sculpture of a bear with a walking stick and a hat, known as the “Linden Bear.” Carrying flowers during the spring, and adorned with a hat in the winter, this statue captures the ever-changing spirit of Berlin.

The Buddy Bears

The Buddy Bears are a collection of colorful bear sculptures displayed throughout the city. Originally created as a symbol of tolerance and international understanding, these bears have become an enduring attraction in Berlin.

Exploring Berlin’s Bear Significance

Beyond statues and traffic lights, the Berlin Bear can be found in various other signs and symbols across the city:

  • Coat of arms: The bear is featured in the coat of arms of Berlin, symbolizing the city’s strength and resilience.
  • Street names: Some streets in Berlin are named after the bear, paying homage to its significance.
  • Souvenirs: You can find bear-inspired souvenirs like keychains, mugs, and t-shirts, representing the city’s playful spirit.

Final Thoughts

The Berlin Bear is more than just a cute symbol; it embodies the city’s past, present, and future. From statues standing tall to signs guiding the way, the bear’s presence is a reminder of Berlin’s resilience and determination. Embrace this lovable creature as you explore the streets of Berlin, and embrace the spirit it represents.

Thank you for reading. If you're inspired by the stories of Berlin and want to delve deeper, why not join us on our Free Berlin Walking Tour? It's a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the city's rich history and vibrant culture. We look forward to welcoming you soon.

WHAT TO EXPECT

  • 3.5 hours walking tour
  • Berlin’s major highlights
  • Brandenburg Gate
  • Reichstag and Berlin Wall
  • Historical sites

Free Walking Tour Berlin

When: Every day 10am & 12pm every day
Where: The meeting point is in front of the ehemaliges Kaiserliches Postfuhramt Berlin, Oranienburger Straße, 10117 Berlin, Germany, next to the entrance.
Price: Free