Full of fountains

Below the Bonn Lion, on the column which supports it, there is a small fountain in the shape of another lion’s head. The water flows out of the mouth and then along a small paved stream to the side of the Sterntor. Despite its obvious invitation to paddle in the water, the small sign at the bottom of the fountain states “Baden verboten. Kein Trinkwasser”: no bathing, not drinking water. With any luck, people will be able to argue the difference between bathing and paddling if, on hot summer days, they can’t resist cooling their feet in the running water.

Next to the lion fountain that doesn’t dispense drinking water, there is a third fountain on the same square (remember there is a round one in front of the Sterntor). This one is a drinking fountain though, so serves a purpose beyond visual art. When researching it I found there is one of this type in Berlin too and maybe there are other blue drinking water fountains dotted around Germany. The one in Berlin only works from May to October to prevent pipes from bursting, presumably the reason why this one in Bonn was also dry at the time of my visit in March.

A single square with three fountains was the most excessive collection of water features I found in a single place in Bon. There does seem to be a tradition of bringing running water into the city. This fountain to the three graces is quite new, built in 1976, the basin of which though was taken from a previous fountain which was dismantled on changing traffic patterns (another recurring theme!).

This labyrinth fountain was installed in the Friedensplatz, the former cattle market outside the original town gates. It is now a busy bus terminus and is home to many eateries. This water feature provides an unintrusive cooling effect on hot summer days.

The octagonal basin of the Studentenbrunnen (student fountain) depicts scenes from the life of 19th-century students: fencing, drinking, suffering the effects of drinking and others. The more serious aspects are shown on the rising column, the four sides of which have images signifying the faculties of theology, philosophy, law and medicine.

The fountain was damaged in the second world war but re-installed practically in its original location in the palace churchyard.


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