Oh, look! Sphinxes are waiting for us! Sphinxes? Yes, a good instance of Egyptomania fashion, in the beginning of the 19th century (see the Fellah fountain)... Raised between 1806 and 1809 by engineer Bralle, with low-relief and statues by Boizot, it celebrates imperial victories.
Its other name is Victory fountain, because of this golden statue (the Victory), at the top of the column! On the fountain basis, we have 4 statues: Justice, Strength, Wisdom, Vigilance.
When they rebuilt the Pont-au-Change and relaid out the Châtelet square in 1858, they had to move the fountain further, because it needed to be in the new bridge axis! Just imagine... Parisians gathered here in a body to see the big, big fountain slowly moved in its finale place...
They had an ingenious idea: using rails to move it. At that time, sculptor Jacquemart added sphinx to the fountain.