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Where does "zum Löwen" come from?

I'm doing Pimsleur German and in lesson 7 we are told that "zum Löwen" means "to the lion" and is the way many restaurants are named. My question is, why? Where does this phrase come from and why does it have anything to do with restaurants?

For learning: German
Base language: English
Category: Culture



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    It doesn't have to be a lion, many inns used to name themselves after an animal or another figure they put on their signs. There's a famous one called "Zum roten Bären" in Freiburg, for example.

    It has a medieval origin. Many inns had sighs above the door to point to them. Some have this today but, it is just to look old fashioned.

    It is roughly the equivalent to "McDonalds in 2,5 miles". It is just to grab attention.

    "zum Löwen" is short for "to the inn with the name Lion", but no one would translate it that way, so don't use it.

    The animal is just something the innkeeper liked or thought to be cool or they had a dancing bear, for the amusement of the customers. In that case the inn would have been called, "zum tanzenden Bären"

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