Do you like chilling near a fountain? Keep reading to discover the 13 most beautiful fountains in Paris. Original, spectacular or simply relaxing, you’ll love spending some time there!
The Medici Fountain is a true architectural gem. Impressive, spectacular, you can find it in the Jardin du Luxembourg. It was ordered in 1630 by Marie de Medici to Italian architect Thomas Francine, as a memory of the Boboli garden in Firenze. First, a simple crossbar, it became a fountain lined with plane trees in 1861 thanks to architect Alphonse de Gisors. Sculptor Auguste Ottin will later sculpt the very beautiful scene Polyphemus Surprising Acis and Galatea.
At the corner of the rue Molière and the rue Richelieu stands the impressive Fontaine Molière built as a tribute to the famous French playwriter. It’s Louis Visconti who has been entrusted with creating the fountain. The bronze state of Molière is by Bernard-Gabriel Seurre. Two female allegories made of marble called ‘Serious Comedy’ and ‘Light Comedy’ hold parchments on which are engraved the works written by Molière.
You cannot walk the Place Saint-Michel without noticing the giant Fontaine Saint-Michel. Built in 1860 by Gabriel Davioud, this 26-m high fountain houses statues of winged chimeras spitting water and cardinal virtues made of bronze. The main statue is no other than Archangel Michael and the devil by Francisque Duret.
We already told you about it when we told you about the story of the Place de la Concorde. The two magnificent fountains made of cast iron, inspired by the fountains set on the St Peter’s Square in Rome, have been set by Jacques-Ignace Hittorf, at the instigation of king Louis Philippe 1. On one side, the Fountain of the Seas, and on the other side, the Fountain of the Rivers. Both celebrate the French navy of that time.
The Fontaine Saint-Sulpice has been created by Louis Visconti to whom we already owe the Fontaine Molière. Built between 1843 and 1848, this huge 12-m high fountain is made in a Renaissance style and topped with a pinnacle. Each face houses a statue bigger than life-size of bishops under Louis XIV: Bossuet, Fénelon, Massillon and Fléchier. In the pools, four lions look after the fountain.
The Fountain of the Four Parts of the World represents Africa, America, Asia and Europe carrying a globe adorned with the zodiac signs. Built between 1867 and 1874 by Gabriel Davioud (who also created the Fontaine Saint-Michel), this bronze fountain can be found in the Jardin des Grand Explorateurs: Marco-Polo and Cavelier-de-la-Salle, at the edge of the Jardin du Luxembourg.
Facing the Jardin des Plantes stands the beautiful Fontaine Cuvier. It’s by architect Alphonse Vigoureux who also have been Paris water inspector. Built in 1840, it pays tribute to anatomist and paleontology founder Georges Cuvier. An allegoric statue of the Natural History has been sculpted by Feuchère. Around the young woman, lions, crocodiles and various sea animals adorn this fountain listed historic monument in 1984.
What a surprising fountain the Fontaine du Fellah is. Set on rue de Sèvres, this beautiful fountain has been created in a neo-Egyptian style in 1806, following blueprints by François-Jean Braille. The Egyptian statue by Jean-François Gechter represents Antinous, Emperor Hadrian’s favorite. It’s the copy of a statue discovered in 1739 in the villa of the emperor and kept at the Vatican since then.
In the beginning, the fountain was called Fontaine des Nymphes and was set about forty meters from its current location. Ordered by king Henri II, it has been built in 1548 by Pierre Lescot. As for sculptor Jean Goujon, he’s been entrusted with the decoration and the sculptures. Over time, it underwent countless architectural alterations. And it’s now listed as historic monument.
Built in a surprising neo-gothic style, the Fontaine de la Vierge is set not far from another gothic landmark: the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris. It’s simple, you can even see the both of them from the same point of view. Set in the Square Jean XXIII, this fountain with a serrated and slender spire built by Alphonse Vigoureux supports a statue of a Virgin and child by Louis Merlieux.
Between the trees of the Place du Châtelet, you can barely see it. And yet, it’s here, the Fontaine du Palmier! It was built in 1808 at the instigation of Napoleon I to commemorate his victories and supply Parisians with free water. It’s François-Jean Bralle who directed the project. Topped with a golden bronze Victoria sculpted by Louis-Simon Boizot, the fountain has been moved and widened in 1855.
Set in the middle of the very quiet Square Louvois, the Fontaine Louvois has been sculpted by Louis Visconti also behind the Fontaine Saint-Sulpice, following blueprints by Gabriel Davioud. It’s Louis-Philippe I who wanted to put a fountain at this place; and in 1844, it was done. The Fontaine Louvois pays tribute to four main French rives in an allegorical fashion: the Seine, the Garonne, the Loire and the Saône.
Maybe not the most beautiful but undoubtedly one of the most original fountains in Paris. The Fontaine Stravinsky – also called Fontaine des Automates – has been created in 1983 by Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint Phalle, as a tribute to Igor Stravinsky. Each of the 16 sculptures made of colored resin represents a work created by the Russian composer. Just like the sounds the fountain makes, said to recall Stravinsky’s works.
Enjoy your stroll!