Wine fountain

A traditional wine-grape picker.

I’ve always enjoyed seeing this fountain, anchoring the square in front of the Hotel zum Storchen and, this time of year, surrounded by the tables of a café operated out of the hotel. Indeed, when I was last passing by, I saw a waiter from the café pause to fill a water jug from the fountain and carry it to one of the guest tables.

The heart of the fountain is the figure of a wine-grape picker, wearing traditional wooden basket.

I was long unclear about the nature of this person – who is he? what is he doing? why is he celebrated on a fountain in a prominent square in Zürich?

Again with a tip from Jean Rosston ’77, I believe this statue depicts a man who picks wine grapes; he is wearing a traditional wooden basket on his back, and the ‘arbor’ around the fountain includes sculpted grape leaves. I’ve since learned the square is called Weinplatz, lending credence to this explanation.

A view of the fountain in early April, before the warm weather brings out the café tables.

The fountain is mentioned in another webpage – without explanation of the fountain, but some historical tidbits about the hotel.

Author: dfkotz

David Kotz is an outdoor enthusiast, traveller, husband, and father of three. He is also a Professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth College.

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