If you want to use this site please update your browser!
19.11.2020

Caritas Well, Copenhagen

Caritas is also Copenhagen's oldest fountain, built in 1608 at Gammeltorv by Strøget. The fountain was built by Christian IV over one of the city wells and is considered one of the best monuments of Renaissance Copenhagen. In fact, it was a transfer and modernization of the old fountain of the time of Frederick II . Frederick installed a 6 kilometer wooden water pipe from Lake Emdrup.to Gammeltorv, and since the level difference between the lake and Gammeltorv is 9 meters, the water pressure was enough to form a fountain. Although it was probably a decoration, the well was part of the usual water supply in Copenhagen.

A group of figures was originally carved from wood by the German sculptor Statius Otto , after which the bronze castings were made by Peter Hofmann in Elsinore . The figures represent mercy and compassion in Latin "Caritas", symbolized by a pregnant mother with children. Figures stand on a column in a copper vessel. The copper vessel rises above the lower pelvis on a stone column. A woman splashes water from her chest while a little boy "pisses" in the pool. Under the paintings, three dolphins splash water into the tub.

Originally, the plant grew about. 1 meter above the ground, but already in 1634 the vessels and figures were immersed in the surrounding stone pool, so that the monumental effect was lost. In 1706, the general builder Johan Conrad Ernst corrected this discrepancy by replacing the upper part of the stone pool with an air grid, which to a lesser extent "enchanted the area". Under a new restoration in 1781, when the monument was "pitifully dilapidated. It was mounted on a current pedestal of Norwegian marble. At the foot of the engraved monogram of Christian VII and the emblem of Copenhagen .

In 1859, the Copenhagen water supply plant was opened, which increased the pressure in the pipelines. In this case, the wires of the fountain were replaced by a bronze molder J.B. Dalhoff, who at the same time proposed to replace the figure of a Greek sailor, who he could appropriately equip. The Magistrate, however, refused, but Dalhoff was nonetheless censored, closing the most obscene holes.

In 1890, city architect Ludwig Fenger erected a fountain for 2½ meters, and a group of figures for another ½ meter, adding a granite pool, so today it is difficult to imagine this structure as a well. Dolphins were also created in 1890. In 1940, clogged holes were reopened.

On the Queen's birthday, copper balls covered with 24-carat gold jump into the fountain; they must symbolize the golden apples. Golden apples germinate four times a year. On the birthday of the Queen, Prince of Consort and Crown Prince and on Constitution Day, June 5. The tradition dates back to the 18th century.

UP