Tag Archives: Barcelona

Plaza de Cataluña Fountain

Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina

The Plaza de Cataluna at Arroya located in Buenos Aires hosts a replica of the Font de Canaletes drinking fountain in Barcelona, Spain. The fountain was donated to the city by Barcelona City Council in association with the Sociedad General de Aguas de Barcelona Company involved in water access in Argentina.

The dedication was attended by Chief of Government of Buenos Aires, Fernando de la Rua in 1996. Not long after its installation the taps were vandalized and had to be rebuilt. The repair was sponsored by La Recova de Posadas, a local business.

The base of the fountain is a circular plinth which doubles as a drainage system. Four circular basins on pedestals surround the central column, and a small trough for dogs is located at ground level. The central column expands into the shape of an urn with four spigots, each surmounted by Barcelona’s coat of arms. An attic base supports a fluted roof from which rises a highly decorated column with four brackets supporting glass lanterns with crown finials. The apex of the structure resembles a pine cone. A plaque resting against the octagonal stone plinth states:

This fountain, a replica of the historic Font des Canaletes located on the Rambla de Canaletes in Barcelona, was donated to the city of Buenos Aires by the city of Barcelona and the joint partnership of Barcelona Water Company and Argentina Water.

Glossary

  • Attic base, A column base with two rings
  • Finial, A sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Plinth, Flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Spigot, A device that controls the flow of liquid from a container

 

Image Sources

https://www.flickr.com/photos/wallyg/7884668108/

http://bienvenuevoyageur.blogspot.ca/2011/11/font-de-canaletes-buenos-aires.html

 

 


Barcelona Caratyds Fountain

 

In the 19th century Sir Richard Wallace was a wealthy English art collector and philanthropist who lived in France. When the Franco Prussian war damaged many of the aqueducts in Paris there remained little access to clean water for many of the most needy Parisians. His solution to this problem was the erection of public drinking fountains.

The column fountain was designed by French sculptor Charles A. Lebourg in 1872 with four caratyds supporting a cupola. Richard Wallace purchased hundreds of fountains which he donated to major cities throughout the world. Twelve Wallace Fountains were donated to Barcelona on the occasion of the 1888 Universal Exhibition. Only two of the original remain at the Rambla in front of the Wax Museum; and in Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes with Paseo de Gràcia. Other Wallace fountains located throughout the city are replicas cast from the original molds.

The fountains were originally forest green with a cross shaped plinth from which the pedestal arises. An elaborate console decorated with a scallop shell from which a string of pearls flows separates four panels on which the image of a water serpent is coiled around a trident. The trident is associated with the mythological Poseidon who struck the earth and water sprung up. A scallop is symbolic of baptism and fertility, and pearls represent purity and wisdom. One panel contains an inscription above the Barcelona City crest: Sociedad / General / de / Aquas / De / Barcelona. Below the crest is an inscription. Agua / Tomada /Directamente / Del / Contador. A cornice contains the name of the designer, Ch.Lebourg SC / 1872.

Four caratytids with raised arms support a fish scale cupola with a fleur de lys on each side; one of which has been affectionately named Vera. The statues in feminine form represent kindness, simplicity, charity and sobriety (at a time when the Temperance Movement was very active.) They also represent the 4 seasons: Simplicity symbolizes spring, Charity: summer, Sobriety: autumn and Kindness: winter. The statues differ from each other in several other ways: Simplicity and Sobriety have their eyes closed; whereas the eyes of Kindness and Charity are open. They are also different in the position of the knee and feet, or by the manner in which their tunic is knotted at the bodice.

A stream of water originally descended from the interior of the dome into a basin. Tin cups were chained to the fountains until 1952 when public hygiene became a more prevalent social issue. Water is now released with the press of a button into a shell shaped basin. The four dolphins with entwined tails at the apex are a symbolic protector of all things related to water .

Glossary

  • Caryatid, a sculpted female figure serving as an architectural support taking the place of a column or a pillar supporting an entablature on her head
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Cupola, a small, domed structure on top of a roof.
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.

Image Sources

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Wallace_fountains_in_Eixample_(Barcelona)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/58789412@N00/4463522258/


Font de Canaletes Fountain

This fountain can be found in Barcelona, Spain, on La Rambla near Place de Catalunya. Barcelona was once a walled city which extended its boundaries to incorporate a stream that carried water to the sea. The path that followed the stream became a tree lined avenue in the 18th century and the city walls were demolished.

Water fountains have always been in this location; a 16th century water fountain which directed water from a drain to a trough was replaced by two separate fountains in 1863. The current fountain was designed for the World Fair in 1888. Barcelona City Council erected 15 lantern fountains which were located throughout the city.

In the 1930’s F. C. Barcelona fans congregated at the fountain (once the location of La Rambla newspaper) to read the soccer results posted on a blackboard outside the office. This ritual continues to the present day as Barca fans gather at the fountain to celebrate club victories.

The base of the fountain is a circular plinth which doubles as a drainage system. Four circular basins on pedestals surround the central column, and a small trough for dogs is located at ground level. The central column expands into the shape of an urn with four spigots, each surmounted by Barcelona’s coat of arms. An attic base supports a fluted roof from which rises a highly decorated column with four brackets supporting glass lanterns with crown finials. The apex of the structure resembles a pine cone. A plaque in the ground reports the legend that anyone who drinks from the fountain will fall in love with the city and always return.

Glossary

  • Attic base, A column base with two rings
  • Finial, A sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Plinth, Flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Spigot, A device that controls the flow of liquid from a container

Image Sources

https://www.flickr.com/photos/yeagovc/11968252525/in/photostream/