On the slope of the hill in the bend of the river Aare is the Bear Pit park. It is sometimes called Bear`s Moat. This is a kind of Park, or rather a Zoo, where bears live on a large territory. The bear is the symbol of Bern.
The Moat with bears (Berengraben) appeared in Bern as early as 1441, but then it was located in the other place. In 1857, a Bear Pit was constructed near the Nydeggbrücke bridge. From this pit, bears could go to the enclosure located along the banks of the river Aare.
In 2004, the Bear Pit Park was significantly expanded. Along the riverbed there is a wide moat filled with water where bears can bathe. Several terraces have been created up the steep slope of the hill where the bears are in their natural environment. Now the area of space for bears to live reaches 6000 m2.
It is known that the bear is the heraldic symbol of Bern. There is even a legend that the founder of the town, Duke Berthold V of Zehringen, decided to name the town after the first animal killed in the surrounding forests, and it turned out to be a bear. However, the words Bern and Bar (ger. Bear) have no common roots. However, in Bern, almost all Souvenirs are associated with bears.