Thursday 10 January 2008

The Wallace Fountain

This is a photo of a Wallace Fountain you'll find 65 of this kind around Paris and another 20 or so of the smaller design. They are a design classic and familiar to anyone who knows the city.

They were givend to the city by Sir Richard Wallace a wealthy Englishman and philanthropist after the upheavel of the Paris commune in 1875 when many aqueducts and sources of drinking water were destroyed and many of the poor ended up having to pay for water.

Wallace wanted to provide a source of clean, free water for the citizens of Paris he also believed that this would combat the fight against alcoholism. The first fountain was opened in 1875.

The fountains operate from March 15th to November 15th. They are a great source of potable water to this day. I grew up in London and since I was a child the number of public drinking fountains has declined drastically so we're often forced to buy overpriced bottled water to quench our thirsts. This is the same from many other cities but in Paris thanks to Mr Wallace we can still drink for nothing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your thumbnail account of the Wallace fountains. Five of us will be visiting Paris in June, and plan to have picnic lunches to save money. If we can locate a Wallace fountain to fill our water bottles, that will help too -- and it will be much more scenic than a restroom sink.