El Oso y el Madroño

The Bear and the Strawberry Tree are well-known residents of the city of Madrid.

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Though the statue dates back to only 1967, it represents a key element of Madrid’s coat of arms that bears a far longer history.

In fact, a bear has featured as a sign of the city since 1212.  Whilst his initial appearance was on all fours and grazing, within around ten years he was raised to his feet and started nibbling at a tall fruit tree (it is not clear when it was accepted as a strawberry tree).

Since then, the emblem of Madrid has undergone a number of changes, but the bear and the tree and have remained, and they now feature on flags and many other signs around the city.

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The statue that stands placidly in a corner of the Puerta del Sol, is the work of the Spanish sculptor Antonio Navarro Santafé (1906-1983).   Made of stone and bronze, and resting on a granite pedestal, it weighs in the region of 20 tonnes and stands 4 metres tall.  His size and appealing nature attract many visitors for a quick chat and, of course, a photo shoot.

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Puerta del Sol,  Madrid,  June 2017


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Copyright Debbie Smyth, 15 July 2017

Posted as part of Traces of the Past

 

12 thoughts on “El Oso y el Madroño

  1. This is really new to me. I had no idea about the emblem of Madrid. I love when you post photos of sculptures. Your shots of them are like nobody else’s 🙂 Thank you, Debbie. This has been very informative for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you Paula. The background of the tree was new to me – I had often stopped to admire this bear but didn’t know what the tree was or the extent of its history! I’m glad you enjoyed the background.

      Like

    1. I only discovered it a couple of years ago and it is an great place – full of history and character, and also a great place to take a few day trips and get a feel for Spain

      Like

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