Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bern and Bears

Legend has it that Bern was named after the first animal killed in the forests around the city after it was founded in 1191 by Berchtold B. Duke of Zahringen.  The coat of arms, sporting a bear, first appeared in 1224, and there have been live bears kept in Bern since at least the 1440's.

The bears have some wood and meadow habitat and even a portion of the river.
Outside of the bear park there is another hanging metal sculpture - of a bear of course.  And you can find bears in metal, wood, and stone in many places in the city.  Here are a few of the examples.

Plus there is bear beer - and bear restaurants!

So, now that you have heard the romantic story about the bear, I should let you know that some historians believe Bern is named after the Italian city of Verona, which at the time was known as Bern in Middle High German.  I hope that isn't too disappointing for you!

More history, pictures, and adventures to come.  Tomorrow I go to Interlocken with Katherine...

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