Sunday, 15 June 2014

The Bears of Berlin

There is much to think about in Berlin. Memorials to events that are too terrible to think about for long. Lovely bars and restaurants where you can sit and drink beer and watch the world go by. 

The city has slowly knitted itself back together since the days of the Wall - I may blog about that when I've had more time to think about it. The city does not shy away from it's stories of hardship and recovery.

But I couldn't find the story behind the Bears. They clearly come from a standard bear-maker, as they are all the same shape. Many are advertising hotels or other businesses. Some seem completely arbitrary, standing on the pavement doing nothing more than entertain the passers-by.

Here are a few of them:





Aren't they wonderful? I remember being equally entranced by the painted cows in New York - but if anyone knows the story behind them I'd love to know it.

10 comments:

  1. Aren't they gorgeous Jo? I've not heard about this. They are a lovely quirky feature. I'll look forward to your next posts now!

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    1. Thanks, Val. Aren't they fun!!

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  2. I know what you mean about the contrasts in Berlin. I experienced the same two years ago - minus the bears.

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    1. I'm still thinking about the contrasts - it's a fascinating city.

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  3. How fab is this - I've been Facebooked with the answer - they are Buddy Bears. And Wikipedia can tell us all about them:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Buddy_Bears

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  4. The bear is the heraldic animal of Berlin. The Berlinale or Berlin International Film festival awards golden bears. The German name Berlin possibly means little bear in medieval German - it's disputed but sounds nice enough. The Buddy Bears have friends all over Germany: Buddy Beethovens in Bonn (Beethoven's place of birth) and Buddy Luthers in Wittenberg (where Luther did hid thing at the church doors) and a couple of other real and fake buddy things elsewhere.

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    1. Sabine - how kind of you to drop by and tell us all about this. I love the idea of Buddy Bears, and now I wish I'd bought a small one to hide among the greenery in my garden.

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  5. Ah, Sabine has said it for me. They are the symbol of Berlin, and if you go to the German language museum of Berlin (forget its name) you will see some very old and impressive ones. I always thought they are rather appropriate. Berlin reminds me of some grizzled old bear that just keeps on fighting. And that is even though at present it is rather cool and funky. There's a grizzled old bear underneath.

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    1. What a lovely way of putting it, Jenny!

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  6. Awe ,very cute. In Turkey there seems to be fountains everywhere.

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