Why Wallace fountains used to be so unhygienic

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Wallace fountains Fountain

Do you know where do these fountains come from? Sir Richard Wallace gave them his name: he was a rich Englishman, an art collector, Parisian by adoption. He saw the terrible Commune war in Paris, he saw Parisians deprived of drinking water during the siege. So he decided to give 50 fountains, in September 1872, "in order to provide water to passers-by."

Wallace designed himself the main model and artist Charles-Auguste Labourg designed it. We can see caryatids supporting the dome: they symbolize Simplicity, Kindness, Charity, Soberness. Those fountains are 2,71 high metres, each of them is about 700 kg! Parisians were so happy that the city ordered 30 extra copies, with a press button!

For public gardens, the city ordered 86 fountains at the end of the 19th century. They used to have a beaker linked to a chain, but those were removed in 1952, because of the lack of hygiene!


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