If you think fountains are just about tossing in a coin and making a wish, Barcelona is ready to school you in what I like to call ‘Fountainology 101.’ We’re talking monumental spouts that are virtual playgrounds for the eyes, and gush with history and artistry just as powerfully as they do with H2O.
You might be saying, “Come on, it’s just water shooting up from the ground.” But ah, my friend, this is Barcelona! A city where even the pavement is art. Where a fountain isn’t just a fountain, but a stage–set for magical light shows, or adorned with sculptures that could easily take center stage in a museum. Think of the iconic Magic Fountain of Montjuïc that dances to the rhythm of lights and music like a Broadway star. Or the Font de Canaletes, where a simple sip is said to guarantee your return to this amazing city.
So grab a bottle of cava–or a camera if you’re on duty–and let’s set out on a bubbling adventure across Barcelona to discover fountains that are nothing short of aquatic theatre.
Fountains in Parc de La Ciutadella
If you’re strollin’ through Barcelona’s beautiful Parc de la Ciutadella, you absolutely can’t miss the Cascada Monumental. This epic fountain was originally constructed by Josep Fontseré for the 1888 Barcelona World Fair, with the help of a young Antoni Gaudí who helped design the hydraulics and water tank.
The design aims to evoke the grandeur of Rome’s Trevi Fountain. The centerpiece features a majestic Venus sculpture by Venanci Vallmitjana, standing on an open clam, encircled by intricate ornamental elements. It’s seriously Instagram-worthy.
Drinkable Water Fountains
But hey, don’t just admire the giant fountains. When you’re wandering through Parc de la Ciutadella, you’ll come across drinkable water fountains too.
Think a drinking fountain has very little appeal?
Just wait until you see the Font Wallace, right at the park’s Passeig dels Til·lers entrance. The fountain, modeled after the drinking fountains of Paris, isn’t a water source, it’s a work of art.
Take a drink and you’ll also be dabbling in Barcelona’s serious water culture. The city has more drinking fountains than any other city in Europe.
Font de Canaletes
Located in the heart of Barcelona, near Plaça de Catalunya, you’ll find one of the most iconic and best known monuments in town – Font de Canaletes. Sitting on Rambla de Canaletes, the initial stretch of La Rambla, this ornate drinking fountain is crowned by a lamp post and offers a lovely spot for tourists to stop and admire its beauty.
There’s a legend surrounding this fountain that gives it a special place in the hearts of visitors and locals alike. It’s said that if you take a sip from the drinkable water of Font de Canaletes, you’re destined to return to Barcelona someday. It’s not just a pretty facade, this iron monument holds magic within its waters!
The Font de Canaletes has been a fixture of football fans after Barça matches since the 1930s, making it a popular spot to celebrate victories and connect with fellow fans. The fountain is an essential part of the city’s history and allure.
Apart from its mystical powers, the Font de Canaletes is also the oldest preserved fountain in Barcelona, making it a piece of history worth checking out during your stay in Spain. Furthermore, it stands close to the historic Santa Anna Street, connecting it to even more of the city’s rich past.
Whether it’s for the drinkable water, the legend, or simply its beauty and connection to Barcelona’s history, the Font de Canaletes is a must-visit spot during your time in the vibrant city of Barcelona, Spain.
The Three Graces Fountain
The Font de les Tres Gracies (Fountain of The Three Graces) has been a popular meeting point and centerpiece of Plaça Reial since it was installed in 1876. It’s a beautifully designed and detailed fountain that is a major selfie magnet, located in arguably the most famous square in Barcelona, Spain. You’ll notice its elegance and intricate detail as you walk through the vibrant Gothic Quarter.
This lovely fountain, commissioned by the Marquis of Campo Sagrado, is named after The Three Graces from Greek mythology. These three goddesses – Euphrosyne, Aglaea, and Thalia – symbolize charm, beauty, and creativity. You’ll find them gracing the top tier of the fountain, surrounded by flowing water jets that create a soothing atmosphere.
Fuente de la Portaferrissa
When you’re exploring Barcelona’s famous fountains, Fuente de la Portaferrissa is a must-see. This historic fountain was built in 1604 and named after the nearby Porta Feriça gate. It’s got a rich history and unique design, making it a cool spot to check out in the city.
Fuente de la Portaferrissa is a perfect example of the medieval fountains that once adorned Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter. It originally stood next to L’Església, one of the city’s medieval gateways. Over the years, it has become an iconic part of Barcelona’s landscape.
The fountain itself is a beautiful work of art, featuring intricate carvings and decorative elements. As you’re admiring the design, you can’t help but feel a connection to the past. Just imagine the countless people who have stopped by this fountain for a sip of water or a quick break throughout history. It’s a tangible link to Barcelona’s rich heritage.
As you stroll through the city, don’t miss a chance to stop by Fuente de la Portaferrissa. Snap a few photos, take in the gorgeous details, and imagine what life was like when it was first constructed. It’s a quick visit, usually taking less than an hour, but it’s totally worth it to experience a piece of Barcelona’s history.
Font de Santa Anna
If you’re wandering around Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, you definitely can’t miss the Font de Santa Anna, one of the city’s oldest fountains. Dating back to 1356, this historical gem has seen over 600 years of vibrant history.
Once a trough for watering animals, a drinking water fountain was added a few years later for the city’s human population. As you gaze at this centuries-old fountain, you’ll find yourself transported back in time, imagining how folks from the past relied on this life-giving water source.
What’s interesting about the Font de Santa Anna is the pop of colorful ceramics added in 1918 by the talented Catalan artist, Josep Aragay. This touch not only adds a dash of charm, but it also highlights the city’s rich artistic heritage.
So, next time you’re exploring the narrow streets and alleyways of the Gothic Quarter, be sure to swing by the Font de Santa Anna, snap some pictures, and let yourself be captivated by this piece of Barcelona’s long and exceptional history. Trust me, it’s worth the visit!
Visiting Fountains in Barcelona
Not sure how to include visits to some of these popular fountains in your sightseeing itinerary? We’ll explore some of the best ways to experience these fountains through tours and other activities.
One of the most convenient ways to explore the famous fountains in Barcelona is to hop on a Bus Turistic. This sightseeing bus offers routes that cover many iconic spots, including the famous Magic Fountain at Montjuïc Mountain. You’ll have the chance to explore each stop at your own pace and can even get off at Plaça de Catalunya to see the beautiful Santa Ana Fountain.
Another option you can consider is joining a guided tour. Many companies in Barcelona offer walking or bike tours that will take you to some of the most iconic fountains in the city, such as the Fountain of Plaça Reial. These guided experiences come at various price points, allowing you to find one that fits your budget.
If you want a more immersive experience while exploring these fountains, consider timing your visit with one of the spectacular Magic Fountain shows. These free shows combine water, music, and lights and occur every half hour during the evenings in the summertime. It’s the perfect way to cap off a day of sightseeing.
You could also visit the fountains during a relaxed stroll or shopping excursion. Many historic fountains, such as the one at the Plaça de Sant Just, are located in bustling areas, so you can enjoy the fountains as part of your daily activities in the city.
Remember, when visiting these fountains, always be respectful of the local customs and other visitors. Barcelona’s fountains are a testament to the city’s rich history and culture, and by taking the time to visit them, you’re sure to have a memorable experience.