Beautiful Fountain (Nuremberg)

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The beautiful fountain, on the right the towers of the Sebalduskirche , 2009

The Beautiful Fountain belongs as one of the attractions of the city Nuremberg for Historical miles of Nuremberg . It is located on the edge of the main market right next to the Nuremberg town hall . The beautiful fountain is around 19 meters high and has the shape of a Gothic church spire adorned with branches .


Sculpture of Ptolemy as a symbol for astronomy, 2010
Brass ring, 2007

The Schöne Brunnen was built by Heinrich Beheim from 1385 to 1396 ; "According to others ( sources ) built by the brothers Georg and Fritz Rupprecht in association with Sebald Schonhofer ."

In the course of history, the fountain has been restored several times (the first time in 1822–24 by the sculptor Jacob Daniel Burgschmiet ) and rebuilt. The first complete copy of the fountain (also made of sandstone) dates from 1835 and 1839. Today, a colorfully painted copy made of shell limestone from 1903 can be seen on the main market square; the step platform was also built around a step wreath during this time; the preserved remains of the stone original are in the Germanic National Museum (restored from 1899–1903 under Heinrich Walraff, it was rebuilt in its current form in 1912 based on the weathered Gothic original). From 1902 to 1934 (the dismantling ordered by the NS city administration) the beautiful fountain and the baroque Neptune fountain had an exciting architectural and urban planning counterpoint.

During the Second World War , the Schöne Brunnen was encased in a concrete shell and thus survived the bombing unscathed.

For the 2006 soccer World Cup , the fountain was wrapped in a sculpture made of towered stadium seats by the artist Olaf Metzel . During the construction of the work of art with the title Goodbye , there were sometimes bitter disputes between supporters and opponents.


The myth of the brass ring, which is seamlessly forged into the iron grating, also has a legend - it is said to have gotten into it like this:

Master Kuhn, who built the bars around the well, had a daughter named Margret who was courted by his apprentice. But since he did not want to give his child to a poor fellow, he forbade this advertising and threw him out. It is said to have said something like: “This will be nothing for all! So little comes of it as you manage it, that the rings on the fountain grille can turn! ”The master then went on a journey and the apprentice wanted to prove that he could do something and secretly made the ring. Then he cut it open, inserted it into the grille, soldered, hammered and filed until one could no longer see a seam. Then he left town and never came back. After Master came home, he realized that he had been too strict. He regretted the expulsion and would have liked to have had the skilled apprentice back and also given him his daughter, but it was too late and Margret was crying her eyes out. One of the rings is considered a lucky charm , according to a legend, if you turn it, children will be given a blessing. Usually the brass ring is considered to be the lucky charm, but many Nuremberg residents believe that the iron ring is the "real ring" and thus the lucky charm.

According to another legend, the sculpture of the fountain was actually commissioned as the top of the tower of the Frauenkirche (also on the main market), but this was rejected due to the lack of lifting possibility. The Frauenkirche was consecrated as early as 1358. The legend was apparently also able to spread because Beheim had actually designed part of the vestibule in the Frauenkirche before the construction of the fountain and the drawings were also intended for the furnishings of the Frauenkirche.


Figure of Socrates , behind him Pope Gregory the Great and (from left) Augustine , the Elector of Saxony and Charlemagne .
Popular: turning the rings.
Popular: turning the rings.

The forty colored painted figures of the fountain represent the worldview of the Holy Roman Empire on four floors . From below these are: Philosophy and the Seven Liberal Arts , the four Evangelists and the four Fathers of the Church , the seven Electors and the Nine Good Heroes , Moses and seven prophets . The gargoyles symbolize the seven vices and the lucky charm Adebar.

The rotating rings in two of the eight grids ( forged in 1587 by the Augsburg art locksmith Paulus Kuhn) that fence the fountain are well known. It is not known when the original brass was attached. The fact is that the brass ring was renewed at least five times (1824, 1903, 1949, 1950 and 1957), while the second, iron one, on the northeast side, was inserted in 1902 and has remained the older since then. The numerous other rings in the lattice are still original, although they cannot be rotated, but still come from Kuhn himself. After Nuremberg came to the Kingdom of Bavaria in 1811, the grating could only be saved after strong protest by citizens and artists.

Schönbrunn line

According to council writer and chronicler Johannes M. Müllner (* 1565) in 1362, the Schönbrunn line was laid to supply the fountain with water. It was fed by two springs in Gleißhammer, south of today's railway line, and ran over the Tullnau, crossed the pouring, hospital and washing water pipes in St. Peter and reached the town at the southern Zwingerturm under the influence of the Pegnitz. It crossed the Pegnitz on the island of Schütt and the Wildbad at the Spitalbrücke and reached the main market via Spitalgasse and Plobenhofstrasse. The pipe was originally made of wood, was later partially replaced by lead and was one of the oldest utility water pipes in Nuremberg in use until the 20th century.

Historical illustrations

See also


  • Johann Christoph Jakob Wilder : * The beautiful fountain in Nuremberg / hints about its artistic value, as well as its history, in memory of its discovery, after complete restoration on October 12, 1824 / with 3 coppers. 2nd edition, Riegel and Wießner, Nuremberg 1824 ( digitized in the Google book search).
  • Andreas Strohmeyer: The rings in the lattice of the beautiful fountain. In: Altstadtfreunde Nürnberg (Hrsg.): Nürnberger Altstadt reports . No. 2, 1977, pp. 62-68.
  • Ludwig Zintl: The beautiful fountain in Nuremberg and its figures. History and meaning of a work of art. Hofmann, Nürnberg 1993, 72 pages, ISBN 3-87191-183-6 .

Web links

Commons : Schöner Brunnen  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. NN : The old and the new Nuremberg, described historically and topographically…. CH Zeh'sche Buchhandlung, Nuremberg 1868, p. 42 ( digitized in the Google book search).
  2. a b c Georg Stolz: Beautiful fountain . In: Michael Diefenbacher , Rudolf Endres (Hrsg.): Stadtlexikon Nürnberg . 2nd, improved edition. W. Tümmels Verlag, Nuremberg 2000, ISBN 3-921590-69-8 , p. 947/948 ( online ).
  3. Wolfgang Heilig-Achneck: Police threaten with evictions . The dispute over a work of art comes to a head - bosses were “in the picture” - dispute among “free people” . In: Nürnberger Nachrichten , April 24, 2006
  4. ^ Daniela Plankl: The beautiful fountain at the Nuremberg main market., accessed on August 20, 2017
  5. Emmi Böck (Ed.): Nuremberg city sagas and legends. P. 47, Nadja Bennewitz: About the story.
  6. ^ Heinrich Otte, Ernst Wernicke: Handbook of the church art-archeology of the German Middle Ages. Volume 2. TO Weigel, 1885, p. 513 ( limited preview in Google book search).
  7. Nürnberger Zeitung: Which ring on the beautiful fountain is the right one? Online from the same date at, September 9, 2009.

Coordinates: 49 ° 27 '15.2 "  N , 11 ° 4' 37.4"  E