Berlin can be grateful that, in addition to the Brandenburg Gate as a strong symbol of the city, it has also received an emotional popular figure.
The story of the "Classic Buddy Bears" begins in June 2001 in Berlin. Inspired by the idea of bringing art to the streets of metropolises, the initiators of the Buddy Bears, Eva and Klaus Herlitz, made the decision to develop a unique Street Art Initiative for Berlin. Within a very short time, the "Buddy Bear Berlin Show" was opened in front of the famous KaDeWe. Many more Buddy Bear sculptures delighted Berlin citizens and tourists on the streets and famous squares of the German capital. By holding the arms raised towards the sky the Buddy Bear aim to spread openness, friendlines and optimism. So, the Buddy Bears Berlin conveyed a positive mood from day one. This was – and still is – captured every day by countless cameras of tourists from all over the world.
The success of the Buddy Bears was so overwhelming that an extension of the Street Art Initiative was proposed and approved by Berlin´s Council. This project developed into a "famous bear story" and the Buddy Bears became the widely recognized and unofficial symbol of Berlin.
At the same time, many companies in Germany and abroad as well as more and more private individuals acquired Buddy Bears. Little by little, the Buddy Bears became ambassadors of Berlin globally. An interactive map shows many of the now more than 1,600 Buddy Bears outside Berlin.
You will find our Buddy Bears in front of more than 100 embassies and consulates of the Federal Republic of Germany, to welcome the international guests. These 2m tall Buddy Bear ambassadors are not only a symbolic greeting from Germany, but also show through their design the friendly bond with the respective host country.
But also, within Berlin, the Buddy Bears established themselves as an integral part of the Berlin streetscape and are colorful "eye-catchers" in all districts of Berlin for over 20 years. An interactive map shows many, publicly accessible Buddy Bears in Berlin for the most peaceful bear hunt of all.