El Oso y el Madroño
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El Oso y el Madroño

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 though the question posed is, of course: why the bear and tree? There are several theories as to why this particular design was chosen and you can decide for yourself what you believe to be the most realistic.

The following explanation should spark your imagination. Madrid was originally thought to be named Ursa, which means "bear" in Latin. The reason for this is the area had at one time been a frequent spot for bears who would inhabit the nearby forest. Within this forest there are the "madroño" trees that have fruit growing that closely resembles strawberries, hence the bear and madroño symbol you see frequently used around Madrid. Weighing over twenty tons, it's not going anywhere in a hurry but it's still worth heading on down there if you're in the nearby area. A real fascinating find.