A day with very mixed weather and heavy winds - all the chairs of the Tuileries Gardens (see previous posts) were empty - I crossed the Place de la Concorde (see previous posts) …
… and thought I should have a closer look on the two fountains, looking very similar to each other but supposed to be different. One, the northern one, is dedicated to “River Commerce and Navigation” and the southern one to “Maritime Commerce and Industry” – whatever difference this really means. They have been here since 1840. A reason for the naval aspect of the fountains was obviously the Ministry of Navy building (Hôtel de la Marine) overlooking the Place since the middle of the 18th century (see previous post). The design is by Jacques Ignace Hittorff (1797-1867). I talked about him in a previous post, referring to the number of projects where he was involved (Gare du Nord, the buildings around Place de l’Etoile, the Cirque d’Hiver…).
Twelve different sculptors worked on the statuary of the fountains.
So where are the differences?
I noted that the front, lower row, statues are exactly the same in both fountains (the northern one on top, the southern one below)...
… but when it comes to the second and third rows, there are actually some differences.
Anyhow, whatever the theme and the slight differences may be – or not – the fountains are beautiful, even more so at night and when the water jets are in operation – see an old picture on top.
Also initiated by Hittorff are the the eight statues (four different sculptors) you can find in each angle of the Place, each representing a French city. Someone had put red noses on two of them.
To finish with the decoration of the Place – of course not neglecting the obelisk in the middle of the Place (see previous post) – the Marly Horses (Chevaux de Marly) should also be mentioned. There are four of them, originally created for the suburb Marly Castle in 1745, transferred here in 1794, but because of deterioration replaced by copies in concrete in 1984. The original marble ones are preserved at the Louvre Museum.