If you've traveled to Paris,
you'll recognize these fountains.
Named the Wallace Fountains after the philanthropist
and Englishman Richard Wallace (1818-1890) who,
after receiving a rather large inheritance,
decided Paris should benefit.
They serve as drinking fountains found throughout the city
and these larger models (there are several kinds)
are decorated with caryatids and dolphins.
The caryatids (sculpted female figures serving as columns) represent
kindness, simplicity, charity and sobriety.
Designed by Wallace and Charles-Auguste Lebourg,
a sculptor from Nantes,
they were meant to help the city's inhabitants after the Paris Commune
when many of the aqueducts had been destroyed and the price of water rose.
While I have not drunk from them,
I have used them to spritz myself on hot summer days.
They can be found in nearly every arrondissement
and while reading about these beauties,
I just learned there is more than one in our 15th arrondissement neighborhood
though I have yet to find them.
Always a treasure hunt in Paris!
(Photographs copyright: Kirsten Steen)