Tag Archives: captial

Bern, the Beautiful City of Bears

14 Nov

One of my favourite cities in Switzerland is Bern. Not everyone is aware that Bern is the capital of Switzerland and that might be due to the fact that the city itself is not as big as you would expect. In fact, Bern is only the fifth largest city in Switzerland.

The city name actually means “bear” and bears are all over the city. They feature in architecture and in the cantonal flag. I have no idea why the tongue on this bear is so long. It looks like a bear has mated with a komodo dragon or maybe it is just like that for artistic effect.bern

There are actually real, live brown bears in Bern. This is always a highlight for my trip to Bern. Up until a few years ago, the bears lived in a small bear pit. I guess because of the increased focus on animal rights and welfare, the bears were moved from the pit to a new Bear Garden which is along side the river Aare. The garden is 6,000 square meters and the bears are free to roam around and also play in the water. The bear pit still remains at the site and is still used when, for example, the keepers need to come into the gardens to clean up or leave food for the bears. The pit is very small, especially for the size of the bears. I am glad that they now have a larger space to live in.

When I visited with my mum in June, we saw the father and the daughter “fighting”. It looked pretty violent but I am pretty sure that they are actually just playing. The mother was not interested at all. She was off somewhere sniffing bark or something.

When I visited with my brother, the bears were not so animated. They had just been fed and were having a nap. But I did manage to get this shot of Ursula the bear before her food coma hit.

img_3436