A true favorite for children and adults alike is the Bear Pits, also called Barengraben. Bears are an important symbol in Bern and they are highly respected and well regarded. The city is said to have been named for this creature and a bear is represented but on the city’s coat of arms. Bears have been kept in pits since the early sixteenth century, but recently, people have come to realize that this is very bad for the bears. The old Bear Pits were replaced in 2009 with a Bear Park which is adjacent to the old pits. The bears now get to enjoy a very luxurious home next to the river Aar. The bears are viewed from the bottom of the hill and there is a lift to take tourists there. There are many bears to see and it is something that tends to stay in your memory long after you leave Bern.