Fontaine Bartholdi

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Fontaine Bartholdi
ArtistFrédéric Auguste Bartholdi
Completion date1892
LocationLyon, France

The Fontaine Bartholdi is a fountain sculpted by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and realised in 1889 by Gaget & Gautier. It was erected at the Place des Terreaux, in the 1st arrondissement of Lyon, in September 1892.[1]


On 20 April 1857, the Bordeaux city council decided to hold a competition to create a fountain for Place Quinconces. Frédéric Bartholdi, then aged 23, won the contest. However, the city hall of Bordeaux decided not to carry out his project. After Bartholdi had made the Statue of Liberty in New York in 1886, the mayor of Bordeaux contacted him, but his new project was canceled after much hesitation. It was finally achieved in 1888, but it was deemed as too expensive and therefore was sold to Lyon. The fountain was eventually put at the Place des Terreaux and is currently still there.

The fountain depicts France as a female seated on a chariot controlling the four great rivers of France,[2][citation needed] represented by wildly rearing and plunging horses, highly individualized but symmetrically arranged, with bridles and reins of water weeds. The fountain weighs 21 tons and is made of lead supported by a frame of iron and was presented at the Exposition Universelle of 1889. It has been classified as monument historique since 29 September 1995.[1]


The fountain was removed temporarily in 2015 for restoration and was returned in December 2017,[3] for a total budget of 2 750 000 euros. The structure was rusted, and the lead statue warped and fractured.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Base Mérimée (ministère français de la Culture)
  2. ^ La Seine, la Loire, le Rhône, la Garonne; the four rivers of France, a familiar iconological trope, are also represented, by reclining gods and goddesses, in the parterre d'eau on the gardens of Versailles.
  3. ^ La Fontaine Bartholdi,

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°46′04″N 4°50′00″E / 45.767641°N 4.833455°E / 45.767641; 4.833455