Bartholdi Fountain, Lyon

Bartholdi Fountain, Lyon

While every town or city in France is proud of its fountains, Lyon justifiably takes pride in its most famous one – Bartholdi Fountain – on Place des Terreaux.

The fountain was designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi in 1889 and manufactured by Gaget and Gautier. It was originally intended for the city of Bordeaux when first exhibited at the Exposition Universelle of 1889. After the show, however, the mayor of Bordeaux perceived it too expensive for his city, and so the fountain was bought by the mayor of Lyon in 1890.

The centerpiece of the fountain is an allegorical sculpture of the River Garonne, called the “Char triumphant de la Garonne”, featuring a woman with a small child in a chariot drawn by four water horses. The statue is made of lead on an iron frame; it weighs 21 tons and is 4.85 meters high.

The woman figure represents the Garonne and the four horses with their bridles of water weeds represent its four main tributaries, namely: the Tarn, Ariège, Lot and Gers. The horses are leaping and plunging, thus symbolizing these tributaries jumping into the sea. However, since placed in Lyon, the woman figure is believed to be representing the River Saône instead.

Architect Bartholdi is best known for his other major works, like the Lion of Belfort created in 1879 and the Statue of Liberty in 1886.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Lyon. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Bartholdi Fountain on Map

Sight Name: Bartholdi Fountain
Sight Location: Lyon, France (See walking tours in Lyon)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Lyon, France

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Create Your Own Walk in Lyon

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Historical Religious Buildings Walking Tour

Historical Religious Buildings Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Food Tour in Lyon

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Lyon's Architectural Landmarks

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 Km or 2.5 Miles
Lyon Introduction Walking Tour

Lyon Introduction Walking Tour

The city of Lyon – capital of France’s Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region – has been around for 2,000 years, sitting at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers. Established in 43 BC as a settlement for Roman refugees of war, it was also the capital of the Gauls at the time of the Roman Empire; two Emperors – Claudius and Caracalla – were born here. Due to its foundation on the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles

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