Berliner Bärenfreunde e.V.

Sonntag, 05. Dezember 2021

International Knut-friends visiting the Berlin Citiybears Maxi and Schnute

Easter-Sunday, April 4th, 2010
International visit at ‚Maxi und Schnute’s” in the „Köllnischer Park”

(translation by Dumba from

On Easter-Sunday a group of international Knut-friends met at the “Loewentor” of Berlin Zoo. Starting there, they made a three-hour-Berlin-round-trip of “the little different cast” in a mini bus. Immediately they passed „Café Kranzler“, continuing to “Schöneberger Rathaus”, on the balcony of which US-president Kennedy delivered his speech containing the famous sentence “Ich bin ein Berliner”. Below the balcony a black buddy-bear is to be seen as well as the crest of Berlin (a bear!). This was already a good attunement to the Berlin City Bears!

Next was Tempelhof and Kreuzberg, past the monument for the “Luftbruecke”, down Mehringdamm, making a detour through “Bergmannstrasse” “Landwehrkanal” was crossed direction Friedrichstrasse, past “Checkpont Charly”, followed by a round around “Gendarmenmarkt”. Thereafter “Traenenpalast”, “Berliner Ensemble”, “Friedrichstadt Palast”, “Tacheles” and “New Synogogue” were to be seen from the bus. Following was a walkabout in the “Hackesche Hoefe” with its Jugendstil elements and flamboyant tiles in its entrance hall as well as its ateliers, boutiques, shops, housing and office areas. There are also a cinema and a theatre. Culture and commerce must not be mutually excluded, there is wonderful variety.

“Nikolaiviertel” was the next bus stop. It’s one of the most popular tourist attractions of Berlin. Everybody was enthusiastic about the winding lanes, the beautiful signs, the shops of any kind, restaurants and pubs, and certainly the prominent “Nikolaikirche” wit its sharp steeples. The reopening of the church was only celebrated on March 21st, after a construction period of two years. The group was not less fond of the bear that belongs to a fountain, which was erected in front of the church in 1987 at the occasion of celebration of 750 years Berlin. Last not least they were excited about the shop with “the thousand bears”!

Weather was near to ideal for such a round trip, even sun peeped out once in a while. The flowers that were planted into flower buckets in front of the bears’ house blazed in the midday sun. This was the friendly atmosphere the visitors could witness at time of the bears’ feeding. Also the group had arrived in time meanwhile. Mrs Junge and Mrs Gnad awaited them already. Mrs Junge had brought two Easter bunnies and grapes, the group brought honey for the bears. The two bear-ladies made short work, they followed hot-food their good sense of smell and had gladly a real go at the treats, as e.g. mango, parsley, “salad hearts”, fish, oranges and grapes. Mrs Gnad, their keeper, had everything arranged marvellously at the left side of the bears’ open space. In the meantime further visitors had arrived in order to see the bears’ feeding. It was a pleasure to watch the Berlin citybears savour their Easter banquet, whereas birthday child Mirja was serenaded.

A lot of questions were asked and answered. The group, including a little film team, consisted of Alex, Bernd, Caren, Gudrun, Judy, Mervi, Mirja, Nick, 2 x Ralf, Risto, Rosi, Vesa and not to forget Alex’ and Ralfs enchanting dog “Pepper”. The participants were from the USA, from Finland, Sweden and Germany, from Bavaria, Sauerland, and Berlin to be precise.

Some of the visitors bought a “Plusbrief” decorated with a portrait and a stamp of Tilo, which is a philatelically rarity.

We spent an interesting and nice time together, which unfortunately passed by way too fast. The group had to continue as nobody wanted to miss Knut’s feeding. Their little tour ended where it had begun, at “Löwentor” of Berlin Zoo.

It were Mirja and Mervi to hit on the idea of the little “city tour a different way”.

It worked out all around. Following is the link to Mervi’s blog. Amongst others, Mervi herself, Mirja, and Caren use to contribute regularly with articles and photographs:

Christa Junge

(article in german: click here)

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