The Wallace Fountains in Paris

The Wallace Fountains in Paris are named after Richard Wallace who designed and paid for these drinking water fountains that are dotted all over the city of Paris and the majority of these monuments are still in use today.

About the Wallace Fountains

Even though the Wallace Fountains are now part of the history of Paris and are classified as monuments, they have never actually been classified as historical monuments and many have been completely transformed in their colours.
Wallace Fountain statues
And although most people take drinking water for granted, when you look back at the history of the Wallace Fountains, these were a much needed addition for the city, especially for the poor that could not afford the water prices after the Franco-Prussian war and the Paris Commune.

Yet they still remain in use for not just the poor or homeless, but for anyone wanting to refresh themselves quickly whilst walking around, whether you are a tourist on holiday in Paris or are permanently living and working in this incredible city.

However, even though there are still many Wallace Fountains to be discovered, the Applied Model by Richard Wallace, which was to be placed on the side of buildings like hospitals, never truly got utilised to that extent, even though it was a far more reasonable cost to produce and install.
And in fact there is only one Applied Model Wallace Fountain still remaining in Paris, which is located in the 5th Arrondissement by Rue Cuvier.

But after the success of the large model fountains, a smaller push button design was also produced that was commissioned by the city of Paris and this was utilised far more so than the earlier models, and are found near parks in Paris.

And then there was a fourth style produced called the Colonnade model, yet there are only two that remain out of the thirty originally made, one of which is located at the Place Pierre Demours, but it is the large model Wallace fountains that you can still discover more of today.
Wallace Fountain information plaque
Wallace Fountain in Champ de Mars
However, when it comes to be able to use these fountains in Paris, because of the risk of freezing during the winter months that can damage the workings, these are only operational from approximately mid March through to mid November and are completely shut off at all other times.

About the large model Wallace Fountains

The Large Model Wallace Fountain was designed by Richard Wallace himself, but the sculptor Charles-Auguste Lebourg put the finishing touches to the final design and was actually inspire by the Fontaine des Innocents Fountain.

The fountain itself has four caryatids of women depicting kindness, simplicity, charity and sobriety, with their arms supporting a pointed dome decorated with dolphins and this sits on a stone foundation.
Wallace Fountain along Avenue des Champs Elysees
And standing at a height of approximately 2.7 metres the water comes from the centre of the dome and falls down into a basin protected by a grille and originally there were also drinking cups attached to the fountains, but these were eventually removed in 1952 for hygiene reasons.

There are actually over sixty of these fountains dotted all over the city in virtually every Arrondissement such as the Square Chautemps in the 3rd arrondissement, the Place Maubert in the 5th, the Place Saint-Sulpice and another at a quay in the 6th by the Pont Neuf, which is the oldest bridge in Paris.

Then you can find one by the Avenue des Champs Elysees, another at the Place de Budapest in the 9th arrondissement and at the Place Jacques Bonsergent in the 10th.  There is one at the Place Denfert-Rochereau in the 14th, at Place Henri Rollet in the 15th, another at the Place des Abbesses in the 18th arrondissement and one at the Place Edith Piaf in the 20th.

So as you can tell, there are many dotted around and some of them are even very brightly coloured, which makes them stand out even more, and some look more ornate than others, but these are one of the types of monuments in Paris that you can discover.