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The main entrance to the fountain of fairy tales

The Märchenbrunnen (simply the fountain of fairy tales) is located in the Volkspark Friedrichshain in Berlin.[1] In 1893 the authorities of Berlin issued the artistic entrance to the National Park Friedrichshain. The fountain of fairy tales was commissioned by the National Park and later designed by Ludwig Hoffmann.[2] Hoffmann put forward the idea of a fountain in the park to describe fairy tales. Hoffmann describes this in his memoirs.[3]


In 1901 the planning for the fountain begun, along with the design. Ludwig Hoffmann paid serious attention to the sculpture.[4] In 1905 the planning was complete, and Hoffmann presented his sketches and his creation of fairy tale characters which were created by Joseph Rauh, Ignatius Tashner and Georg Vrba.[5] The grand opening of the fountain was held on 15 June 1913 and the major works on the fountain were from 1907 to 1913.[6][7]

Maerchenbrunnen Berlin Friedrichshain Zeichnung.jpg
Märchenbrunnen Friedrichshain 1913.png
In around 1905 Postcard in 1913
Märchenbrunnen - Der gestiefelte Kater 308.jpg
Märchenbrunnen - Hans im Glück 307.jpg
Puss in boots The cascade composition Hans im Glück. Sculpture I.

The ensemble is 90 by 172 metres (295 by 564 ft) and the main part of the complex is 34 by 54 metres (112 by 177 ft) and is made in the style of neo—Baroque.[8][9] The main part of the ensemble is called pool water and was constructed on four flat stages of the cascade, and includes one large and nine small fountains.[7] It also features images of seven figures frogs which produce a jet of water. One of the frogs was used in The Frog Princess, a fairy tale. The sculptures are made of limestone.[10] On the east side of the pond is a closed semicircular cascade arcade; a succession of arches.[11] In the centre of the nine arches there is a large stone bowl which is decorated with sculptures of dog's heads. Above the arcade there is a complete gallery with sculptures of various animals from folk and literary tales.[12][13]

Behind the arcades there is a round fountain called the Dolphin (German: Delphinbrunnen) which has a diameter of 8 metres (26 ft). This contains circles which are made out of sandstone and four sculptural groups which represent children and skiers on the dolphin.[1] This was created by sculptor Georg Vrba.[14][15]

The fountain is decorated with well-known fairy tale characters, such as the Brothers Grimm, Hansel and Gretel, Puss in Boots, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and medieval legends such as the Rubezahl.[16]

Sculptures of different characters
Maerchenbrunnen Berlin Friedrichshain 4.jpg
Maerchenbrunnen Berlin Friedrichshain 7.jpg
Maerchenbrunnen Berlin Friedrichshain 2.jpg
Little Red Riding Hood Cinderella Sleeping Beauty
Maerchenbrunnen Berlin Friedrichshain 10.jpg
Maerchenbrunnen Berlin Friedrichshain 6.jpg
Maerchenbrunnen Berlin Friedrichshain 9.jpg
Hansel Sister and brother Gretel
Maerchenbrunnen Berlin Friedrichshain 3.jpg
Maerchenbrunnen Berlin Friedrichshain Herme.jpg
Maerchenbrunnen Berlin Friedrichshain 5.jpg
Snow White with a dwarf Rubezahl The Seven Ravens
1950 Photo

At the end of World War II a park sculpture disappeared. It was found in 1950 behind a high wall of one of the gardens in the area of Friedrichshain in a damaged condition. Since then, the fountain has been closed several times for restoration.[17]



  • Koch, Günter (22 October 1981). Der Märchenbrunnen — Kleinode der Großstadt. (in German). Artikel in der Berliner Zeitung. 
  • Heimnerger, Bernd (30 June 1983). Wo Menzel als Zwerg bei Schneewittchen platziert ist (in German). Artikel in der Gewerkschaftszeitung Tribüne. 
  • Pfeiffer, Rolf (2004). Am Brunnen vor dem Königstore (in German). Artikel in der Zeitschrift Die Wochenpost. 
  • Dehio, Georg (HRSG.); et al. (2000). Handbuch der deutschen Kunstdenkmäler Berlin (in German). München, Berlin. ISBN 3-422-03071-9. 
  • Feustel, Jan (1994). Spaziergänge in Friedrichshain (in German). Berlin. ISBN 3-7759-0357-7. 
  • Luise-Berlin (2012). "Märchenbrunnen" (in German). Luise-Berlin. Archived from the original on 2011. Retrieved 14 July 2012. 
  • Verlag, Mann (1996). Ludwig Hoffmann: Lebenserinnerungen eines Architekten (in German). Berlin. ISBN 3-7861-1388-2. 
  • Stadtentwicklung (2012). "Volkspark Friedrichshain" (in German). Stadtentwicklung. Archived from the original on 2012-05-07. Retrieved 14 July 2012. 
  • Stadtentwicklung; Gauen; Brunnen (2011). "Delphinbrunnen". Stadtentwicklung. Archived from the original on 2012-05-07. Retrieved 14 July 2012. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°31′41″N 13°25′37″E / 52.52806°N 13.42694°E / 52.52806; 13.42694