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Why a bear and a strawberry tree?

By | 10 September, 2016 | 0 comments

Everyone who comes to Madrid has to go and see the Puerta del Sol. It’s a reference in the city where there’s a lot going on and unique moments take place. For us as a hotel, being so close to the heart of the city (just a few steps away) is a privilege. Puerta del Sol has a lot to do with this, from the square itself to the clock that welcomes the New Year in for thousands of people every year to the “Kilometre 0”, the starting point of all roads in the country; and the famous statue of the Bear and the Strawberry Tree.

Oso y madroño


The first thing to point out is the doubt on whether it’s a male bear or a female bear… They call it a male bear but because the attributes that identified it were aesthetically inappropriate, they decided to remove them and that’s why some people think it’s a female bear. However, experts say that it is a female bear and that this was always the intention since it represents abundance and fertility.

Nevertheless, why a bear? They say, or so the legend goes, that it’s a tribute to a brown bear that King Alfonso XI hunted on the hills around Madrid, during the times when there were bears roaming near the city.

And the strawberry tree? It was an element that appeared later substituting a tower which the bear was leaning on. The reason is that, in medieval times, there were many of these trees in Madrid, although it’s back in the Thirteenth century which is when the symbol first appeared.

Categories: Gran Vía de Madrid

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