The Bärengraben, or Bear Pit, is a well-known tourist attraction, an enclosure housing bears just at the eastern edge of the Altstadt of Berne, next to the Nydeggbrücke and the Aare River. The bear is a symbol of Berne, both the city and canton, and is featured in Berne's coat of arms.
The first records of the bears existing in the city come from 1441. This particular site is the fourth such enclosure and was first opened in 1857. In 1925, a smaller pit was added to raise the young bear cubs. Today, the Bärengraben is part of the city zoo (Dählhölzli) and a heritage site of national significance.