Bear and the Strawberry Tree

Strawberry TreeThe statue of The Bear and the Strawberry tree (El Oso y el Madroño) is located in Puerta de Sol, in the centre of the city. Made of stone and bronze, it weighs approximately 22 tons (20 tonnes) and stands 13 ft (4 m) tall. It represents the coat of arms of Madrid.

All well and good, but my first thought was, what the heck is a Strawberry tree? Turns out, it is Arbutus unedo, an evergreen shrub or small tree native to the Mediterranean region and western Europe north to western France and Ireland. It is also known as the Irish strawberry tree and Cane apple. It grows to 5–10 m tall. I’m guessing there used to be bears in Spain…um, the wild kind!

 

Madrid Bear and the Strawberry Tree Statue