When a bear and a strawberry tree become the symbol of Madrid

November 27, 2016 #Monuments

El oso y el madroño, meaning "the bear and the strawberry tree" is located in Madrid's Puerta del Sol. It acts as the symbol for the capital of Spain. Why the bear and tree? There are several theories as to why this particular design was chosen.

Madrid was originally thought to be named Ursa, which means "bear" in Latin. The area had at one time been a frequent spot for bears who habited the nearby forest. Within this forest there are the "madroño" trees that have fruit growing that resembles strawberries, hence the bear and madroño symbol you see frequently used around Madrid. Weighing over twenty tons, it's worth heading on down there if you're in the nearby area. A real fascinating and interesting find.