Statue of the Bear and the Strawberry Tree

Puerta del Sol 3442 (Madrid)

The statue of the bear and the strawberry tree is a sculpture from the second half of the 20th century, situated in the Spanish city of Madrid. It represents the coat of arms of the villa and is found in the west face of the Puerta Del Sol, between Alcalá street and St. Jerónimo run, in the historical centre of the capital.


The statue is work of the sculptor Antonio Navarro Santafé (1906-1983) and was inaugurated in 1967. It was promoted by the section of Culture of the City council of Madrid, that wanted to represent the main heraldic symbols of the city and of Spain with a monument.
The first appearance of a wild bear and a strawberry tree is on the arms of the city in the 13th century. Previously, it only incorporated a bear in passant attitude, replaced in the aforementioned century by the two current figures. With this change, they wanted to symbolise the resolution adopted by the municipality and the Chapter of Priests and Beneficiaries after a long litigation about the control of Madrilenian pastures and trees. Since this agreement, the former became property of the Chapter and the latter of the council. From here that they modified the arms, with the inclusion of a strawberry tree and of a new posture for the bear: heaving on the tree.
The sculpture has always been in the Puerta Del Sol, but in two different locations inside the square. Before 1986, it was situated in the east side of it, in the vicinity of the building between the Alcalá street and the St. Jerónimo run. This year, it was moved to the front of Carmen street for the sqare's reform and remodeling, promoted by mayor Enrique Tender Galván. In September 2009, with the integral renewal of the, square promoted by Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, it has gone back to its original location.


The statue of the bear and of the strawberry tree is made of stone and bronze. It weighs approximately 22 tons (20 tonnes) and stands 13 ft (4 m) tall. It rests on a granite, staggered, cubic pedestal.
It represents a real-life form the coat of arms of Madrid, with the tree taller than the bear, who supports his hands on the trunk and directs his attention towards one of the fruits.


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