The old-town area of Zürich includes many of the most dramatic and interesting fountains, some of which I’ve already shared here. Today I’m posting 22 photos from seven fountains, all within a few blocks of each other. They start here in the gallery.
The Stüssihofstatt fountain, below, was described by another blogger as “a memorial built in honor of the former Bürgermeister [Mayor] Rudolf Stüssi, killed in battle not far from here.” It is one of the few painted fountains in Zürich – which we saw to be far more common in Bern.
Unfortunately, I don’t know the story behind any of the other fountains. The I particularly like this one, a very dynamic sculpture of a man battling a lion.
And this one follows a common theme – a young maiden bathing.
Finally, a more contemporary design (1932), a multi-level fountain with a statue of a rearing horse.
For more photos of these and three other fountains, start here in the gallery.
I came across this fountain in the newer section of Zürich’s downtown area, early one Sunday morning. It’s an unusual and intriguing figure – a sort of dragon-like rooster with a snake’s tail. It looked familiar; I later remembered that it is a fountain common in Basel, which I’d seen during my February visit (like this photo).
Today I’m posting a collection of a variety of Zürich fountains, mostly utilitarian in nature. though each different in their own way. See them in the gallery beginning here.
The photo above shows a common form for the fountain’s spouts – a lion blowing water through a tube whose end looks like a duck (or goose). The lion is a common symbol of Zürich and the duck/goose motif is common on many spouts around town.
Many of the simpler fountains draw on an aquatic theme – fish, turtles, seals, and even penguins! Perhaps that’s not so surprising. I really like the fountain below, which I call waltzing seals. Ten photos in the gallery starting here.
I found this fountain particularly cheerful, in early spring when many of the city’s trees and gardens were still brown. There is a florist on the corner of this plaza, and it may be that shop which tends to the pretty flowers and bonsai-like bush in the planter at center of this fountain. Three more photos in the gallery, starting here.
I’d seen a few of these contemporary-looking fountains around town, and included this photo in a collection of otherwise nondescript fountains last week. It turns out, however, that these fountains have an interesting story as well as a functional design.
I learned from a post on zurich1200fountains (which also has a prettier picture) that these fountains were built specifically as an emergency water supply for Zürich, with a separate water source – indeed, one that does not depend on electric power. These Notwasserbrunnen originated as the result of a competition in 1973, according to this page. From what I discern through Google Translate, “A special internal construction allows a tap to be connected and thus to enable the population to draw water with buckets in an emergency.”
“Eighty of these special drinking fountains have been installed in the city area. The city of Zurich’s emergency water supply is based on an independent emergency water network that, with spring water from the Sihl and Lorzetal, and is fed by city sources. In addition to the emergency water wells, there are around 300 more wells with separate spring water network. This works with a natural slope and is therefore also independent of the power supply.” [Google translation of this page, with some editing; I welcome corrections from my German-speaking friends!]
Today I’m going to cite another blogger’s post – because it is so cool. As I noted early in this series, most of Zürich’s fountains run throughout the winter, their continuous stream of water preventing them from freezing. (That, and it rarely got below freezing this winter.) I recently discovered zurich1200fountains.com, in which a 2012 blogger cataloged 170 fountains before tiring. In one post, the blog shows the Escher fountain in a cold snap; the photo below is from that post.
This fountain stands prominently at the center of the Lindenhof hill park overlooking the Limmat river and the Altstadt (old town) of Zürich.
The Hedwig Fountain “was built in 1912. The helmeted statue of a woman beside the fountain was made by Gustav Siber. It was built to honor the Zürich women who defended the city by duping the army of Duke Albert I of Germany during the siege of Zürich in 1292. They dressed in full battle gear in order to trick the Habsburg army into thinking that the city was well protected while their men were busy campaigning at Winterthur.” [Wikipedia]
As always, full-res photos are available in the gallery (here).
I’ve always enjoyed seeing this fountain, anchoring thesquare 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.
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.
The fountain is mentioned in another webpage – without explanation of the fountain, but some historical tidbits about the hotel.