Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Friendly Bear

When I first arrived in Munich, I thought the city mascot was the bear. I was completely misled by the bronze bear statue in the center strip of the A9 Motorway, which was actually revealed in 1962. Of course, I never slowed down enough to realize that it was a monument to the friendly relationship with Berlin. It turns out, this is one of several bears across town (this photo at the Elisabethmarket) that show the strong relationship between Munich and Berlin. I later learned that the official animal for Munich is the Lion, named after Henry the Lion, who founded the city of Munich in the 1100s. Ironically, Berlin’s relationship with its Bears has been strained over the past several years. In 2007, the central zoo in Berlin delivered one of its first baby cubs named Knut, which has reached celebrity status. But over the past couple years several people have jumped into the bear enclosure and have been mauled by some of the bears.

No comments: