Weinbauer Fountain

Location: Weinplatz, Zurich, Switzerland

Weinplatz is the oldest market square in Zurich. Grapes were transported here to be pressed; often in a tub carried on the vintner’s back. The drinking fountain, which originates from springs and is claimed by locals to be as pure as bottled mineral water, was erected in 1909. The German word Weinbauer is translated as Vintner, or wine grower.

The drinking fountain is seated on a circular plinth. The circular stone pedestal with attic base is a reservoir for water which falls from two pipes extruding from the mouths of lion masks. The pedestal is surmounted by a cast iron canopy with five columns. The column capitals are a stylized design which represents grapes on the vine. This design is replicated at the peak of the dome and in the finial at the apex. Cartouches in the centre of each arch display a mascaron with a smiling face. The ribbed dome is open filigree with spiral design. The ribs culminate in an orb and a spike which supports the official flag of Zurich.

The font contains a stone stanchion supporting a statue of a vintner carrying a tub of grapes on his back. He is wearing a short tunic open to the waist, a hat, ankle boots, and he carries a walking stick in his left hand.

Glossary
Attic base, a column base with two rings
Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
Cartouche, a structure or figure, often in the shape of an oval shield or oblong scroll, used as an architectural or graphic ornament or to bear a design or inscription.
Filigree, fine ornamental work
Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
Mask/Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
Stanchion, upright bar or post providing support
Vinter, winemaker

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