The iconic Bear Park of Bern, Switzerland

Perhaps the most unusual local icon is the BärenPark, a habitat overlooking the river which has existed in some form for centuries, home to a family of bears, which attract spectators to in particular watch the cubs play. According to lore, Bern was named (in the German of the time, of course) by its founding duke for the first animal he encountered on a hunt, and so bears are also featured on the city's crests and all around town. Animal lovers these days may not love this tradition, but at least these days their enclosure - last hugely overhauled and expanded in 2009 - is a whole lot more spacious than it was historically.

Read more in my post Feeling the Bern in Switzerland.




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