Berlin, the vibrant city known for its history and culture, is home to some fabulous fountains. These decorative fountains aren’t just for looks; they represent the essence of the city and offer delightful places to rest and soak up the atmosphere. But with so many eye-catching fountains scattered through out the city, how do you find the most impressive fountains after you’ve seen in the famous of them all, the Neptune Fountain? Worry not, we’ve got all the deets on Berlin’s under-rated watery gems.
Top Spots for Berlin’s Famous Fountains
The heart of Berlin houses many stunning fountains, like the 24-meter-high waterfall situated in Viktoriapark. This impressive structure, built in 1891, bubbles down the Kreuzberg hill, providing a calming sanctuary amidst the bustling city. The cascading waters draw inspiration from the Zackel Falls and stand as a testament to the city’s love of water and unique spaces.
Another picturesque spot in Berlin is the Coat of Arms Fountain (Wappenbrunnen). Located right next to St. Nicholas Church, this lovely fountain features a bear atop Berlin’s coat of arms, commemorating the city’s founding. Its mouthwatering backdrop draws in locals and tourists alike, making it a cherished meeting spot in this charming neighborhood.
As you explore Berlin, you’ll find many water fountains (Berliner Wasserbetriebe) scattered throughout the city. These fountains not only offer a source of fresh water but some of them serve as historical relics. In your explorations, you might come across one of the old green water pumps that were some of the first sources of drinking water in the city. You can still quench your thirst at one of these iconic city pumps.
Of course, many of the fountains in Berlin also boast remarkable sculptures, adding a touch of art to the watery wonders. These sculptures often represent the city’s history, culture, and sheer creative spirit.
Iconic Fountains in Mitte District
In the heart of Berlin’s Mitte district, you’ll find Neptunbrunnen, a magnificent fountain depicting the Roman god Neptune. If there’s any Berlin fountain you’re likely already familiar with, this is the one. Surrounded by four female figures representing the rivers Rhine, Elbe, Vistula, and Oder, this historic landmark is one of the city’s most beloved water features.
Just beyond the boundaries of the Mitte district is another unique fountain, the Weltkugelbrunnen, also known as the “World Fountain” or “World Ball Fountain.” This spherical fountain showcases Earth’s continents, making it a testament to Berlin’s global connections. The sculpted continents and water flowing around them create an impressive scene in this bustling square. Don’t miss your chance to snap a photo of this architectural wonder!
Right next to Friedrichswerdersche Kirche and Werderschen Mark, you’ll find the famed Bear Fountain. The Bear Fountain (Bärenbrunnen) in Berlin is not one of the city’s most iconic landmarks, but it’s a representation of Berlin’s official symbol: the bear.
Pariser Platz Fountains
The Pariser Platz Fountains don’t have the architectural appeal of the other fountains on our list, but you should still take a moment to appreciate the value they add near the iconic Brandenburg Gate. When standing in the middle of the already picturesque Pariserplatz, the Pariser Platz fountains stand parallel on either side, adding a touch of serenity to this bustling plaza.
Fairytale Fountain in Volkspark Friedrichshain
In the ever-popular district of Friedrichshain lies the magical Märchenbrunnen, aka the Fairytale Fountain. Found inside Volkspark Friedrichshain, this enchanting spot is a must-visit for families and anyone who enjoys a bit of wonder.
As the largest public fountain from the imperial era, this beauty has been carefully reconstructed to keep its charm alive for generations. With its captivating sculptures, Märchenbrunnen really is a fairytale come true!
Fountains as Symbolism and History
Berlin has a rich history, and its beautiful fountains and sculptures play an important symbolic role in representing the city’s past. You’ll find the cultural essence of Berlin reflected in its elaborate fountains, many of which feature the city’s icon – the bear, as seen in Berlin’s coat of arms.
One example is the Märchenbrunnen, also known as the “Fountain of Fairytales.” Located in Volkspark Friedrichshain, it has been a beloved spot for locals and visitors alike since 1913. The enchanting fountain is adorned with animal and fairytale character sculptures, which make it especially popular with children. Its dreamy, romantic atmosphere is sure to capture your imagination.
Another historically significant fountain in Berlin is the Neptunbrunnen. Created in the early 20th century, it features a central statue of Neptune, the Roman god of the sea. The four women surrounding Neptune symbolize the main rivers of Prussia at the time of the fountain’s construction: Elbe, Rhine, Vistula, and Oder. Each river is represented by various elements, such as fruits and ears of corn for the Elbe, fishnet and grapes for the Rhine, wooden blocks for the Vistula, and goats and animal skins for the Oder. This fountain serves as a reminder of Berlin’s historical connections with these great rivers.
In Rudolph-Wilde-Park in the Schöneberg district, you’ll find the Stag Fountain (Der goldene Hirsch), designed by August Gaul in 1912. The stag is not a symbol chosen at random – it is the emblem of the Schöneberg district, much like the bear is the chosen symbol of Berlin. This fountain offers insight into the history and identity of this specific district.
Berlin’s fountains serve not only as cultural and historical markers but also as important functional landmarks. During the Second World War and the Kapp Putsch uprising in 1920, the city’s Berliner Wasserbetriebe street fountains played a crucial role in providing water to the population when the regular water network was paralyzed by conflict.
Points of Interest in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf and Steglitz-Zehlendorf
Berlin offers a wide array of sights and experiences, but if you’re into fountains, two districts are worth exploring: Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf and Steglitz-Zehlendorf. Each has its unique fountain to enjoy, making them the perfect destinations for couples, friends, and families alike.
Schlossbrunnen in Charlottenburg
Located in the Schlossgarten Charlottenburg, the Schlossbrunnen isn’t a particularly ornate or visually striking fountain. But it gets a lot of help from its surroundings. It stands in the gardens in front of Charlottenburg Palace, notching this fountain up to a must-see.
Springbrunnen in Stadtpark Steglitz
Another fountain that greatly benefits from its surroundings, you’ll find the enchanting Springbrunnen in Stadtpark in Steglitz. Not far from the rose garden and circled in vibrant flowers in spring and summer, this fountain is a gorgeous and serene spot for a peaceful escape.
Offbeat Fountains of Berlin
As a savvy traveler, you’ll appreciate the unique and quirky watering holes scattered around Berlin.We’ll take you on a tour of some of the most offbeat fountains in this bustling city.
Viktoriapark Waterfall offers an unexpected evocative sight: a 24-meter-high waterfall cascading down Kreuzberg hill, right in the middle of the city. Constructed in 1891, it’s reminiscent of the Zackel Falls and certainly worth a visit.
Meanwhile, the Coat of Arms Fountain (Wappenbrunnen) sits next to St. Nicholas Church, a charming spot replete with history. Atop the fountain, you’ll find a bear clutching Berlin’s coat of arms—symbolizing the city’s founding and making for a photogenic moment.
Traveling to Schöneberg brings you to the Stag Fountain in Rudolph-Wilde-Park. The eye-catching golden stag statue perched on a high column imbues this fountain with a sense of grandeur.
Despite their utility, not all fountains in Berlin were built for show. During WWII, the city’s green water pumps played a crucial role in providing drinking water when the main supply was cut off. If you happen upon one of these peculiar fountains, take a moment to reflect on their historical significance, and maybe have a sip. Most of them are still in use.
Berlin’s fountains encapsulate the essence of the city, combining water, sculptures, and history in perfect harmony. So, next time you’re trotting around town, take a moment to pause and appreciate these fabulous fountains – they truly add depth to your Berlin experience.