My final contribution for this month is a real bobby dazzler – The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc in Barcelona. It was built for the Universal Exhibition of 1929 by Carles Buigas.
My daughter and I headed out to see the fountain in action on a Friday night in October. There seemed to be hundreds of people watching, but we managed to squeeze in and get a few photographs. We didn’t hear any music though so maybe we were too early for that combination and just after 9 pm we decided to leave and find a restaurant for dinner before everyone else had the same thought.
It is not operating every night in the autumn and winter months so check before you go and be prepared for crowds. However, it truly is magical.
As this is a post equivalent to a NewYear’sEve fireworks display, I shall wish all my blogging family a
and I wish you all success, happiness, health and wealth and fun throughout 2017. Is it really seventeen years since the Millennium? I crept out of the house before dawn on that morning to photograph a sunrise. Not a very interesting one I’m afraid. But I did capture seven swans a-swimming…
One that failed to get posted during the year is this disturbing fountain from Prague.
This is in the Prague Castle Gardens and is of Hercules wrestling with a lion.
The sculpture of Hercules is made by architect Palliardi in the time of baroque flourish (1787-1797) and is in the garden on the bastion.
I don’t know about you, but I found this sculpture/fountain quite odd.
The courtyard also has some cute cherubs riding on lions so maybe this was the place where the royals kept exotic animals, including lions and tigers? Or is it all to do with Hercules and the twelve labours.
The first of Heracles’ twelve labours, set by King Eurystheus (his cousin) was to slay the Nemean lion. According to one version of the myth, the Nemean lion took women as hostages to its lair in a cave near Nemea, luring warriors from nearby towns to save the damsel in distress.
I suppose in a city where David Černý sculptures abound it probably isn’t weird at all.
I’m back in Switzerland for this first December fountain. The delightful “Le Vieux Carouge”, with its specific old French-Italian architecture, its abundance of fountains, courtyards, shuttered houses and bohemian vibe, doesn’t feel at all like you are in Geneva.
My final November fountain is from Scotland, though it is fairly typical of anywhere in the British Isles – a memorial fountain.
The heart of the oldest part of Dunkeld is ‘The Cross’, where the High Street broadens out to flow either side of a central area that was once home to the Mercat (or market) Cross.
The Atholl Memorial fountain was erected on the site of the market cross. It was funded by public subscription and built in 1866 to the memory of George Augustus Frederick John 6th Duke of Atholl. The duke had introduced a piped water supply to Dunkeld prior to which all water had to be drawn from the Tay, which explains all the wynds leading to the river.
The fountain was designed by a Perth based architect C S Robertson with sculptures by John Rhind. Details in the carvings include birds and animals, gargoyles, family crests and masonic symbols – the 6th duke was Grand Master Mason of Scotland from 1843 until his death in 1864.
The result was highly decorative and also functional. The water that flows from the fountain in summer today is not drinkable, but when first built it could serve both passing humans and horses.
Fountain and street
South side detail
Centre of the fountain
The ownership of the fountain was passed to the National Trust for Scotland in 1991 and restoration of the fountain including restoring the flow of water was carried out with donations from several organisations and people. The water is turned off in the winter to avoid freezing.