Two fountains of Onofrio are placed at the beginning and the end of the Stradun. The bigger one is next to Pile gate and it has masks throwing water out of their mouth.
The other one is smaller and it's just before Ploce gate.
You can drink water from the fountain, it's fresh and nobody ever got poisoned.
In a medieval and renaissance metropolis like Dubrovnik, the access to clean water was essential. Long before a modern water supply system existed, fountains played an important role. Water was collected on where now Sponza Palace stands in a cistern, in dry times water was carried by ships.
In 1436, an aquaeduct was built to carry the water from a mountain source into the city. The end of the water line in the city became Great Onofrio's fountain built betwen 1438 and 1438. Two years later, a "subsidiary" fountain at the other end of Stradun (the main street) was added and called Small Onofrio's fountain. The fountain was damaged in the 1667 earthquake and some damages can still be seen. What you can not see anymore is the big dragon statue on top of the fountain which was completely destroyed in the earthquake. The greatest fact about this fountain is that the old aquaeduct system is still in use today as it was in the 1400s - and the water quality fulfills modern standards.
Though it is often believed that the fountain is named after a saint, it has the name of its designer, Onofrio della Cava.
When you enter Dubrovnik at the Pile Gate you will see Big Onofrio's Fountain. Near Ploce Gate you will find Small Onofrio's Fountain. Their original purpose was for travellers to wash at before going into the city proper to prevent plague and disease. All these years later they are still useful for cooling down and refilling your water bottle. A true Godsend.
Strategically located, this fountain from the 15th century, is visited by everybody, either to drink its cool water, either to wash face and hands.
Sixteen fountains always pouring water brought from a well 20 km distant, welcome the visitors, and make this the most visited monument in Dubrovnik. With justice!
After walking through the Magnificent Pile Gate the first thing you see is this fantastic water fountain called Velika Onofrijeva Fontana (Onofrio's Great Fountain) shaped like a polygon and topped with a dome, its not your normal kind of ornamental fountain, it once formed a part of the city's water supply system.
It was built in 1444 and visitors to the city were required to wash here from one of the 14 masks around the fountain that spout water to guard against bringing in the plague.
Once there were statues around the fountain but they were destroyed in an earthquake in 1667.
When we first passed by the fountain a few people were standing around talking and a man dressed in period costume was selling 'Hearts of Dubrovnik' for 1 euro, later on he had gone the people had crowded into the city and they were selling audio tours and trips!
Around mid of the 15th century The Republic hired Italian builder Onofrio della Cawa to construct the urban aqueduct. It was an exceptional case for that period, bringing water to the town from a well, because most of the Dalmatian cities under Venetian rule solved the problem of water supply by building cisterns for rain water. The well was at Rijeka Dubrovacka, 12 kilometres away from the city, and was brought by two branches, one supplied workshops while the other one was accessible to the public.
The Fountain is situated next to the Pile Gate, on the small square right in fron of the church of the Saviour. It was heavily damaged by earthquake in 1667 and splendid sculptural ornaments are lost forever. The original 16 masks in relief, however, are still extant and water jets are gushing out of their mouths.
The Onofrio fountain was constructed in the 15th Century as part of the water supply system. The fountain is named after the 15th Century engineer, Onofrio de la Cava. With its sixteen sided drinking fountain points it served the public drinking water for a number of centuries and even during the Balkans War in the early 1990s.
It's not just called big because it's big, but to differentiate it from the smaller Onofrio's fountain nearby. This giant fountain is part of a 15th century engineering marvel that drew water from a well 20km away and piped it into the old town. Today you'll find it marking the main entrance to the old town, and the beginning of the Stradun.
It was designed by Onofrio Giordina in 1438. It was damaged in 1667 eathquake, but reworked. The fountain still is in use today, and you can drink the water (they say it is okay). There are 16 fountains with carved masks over them, but I only saw two working when we were there. The spring feeding the fountain is 6 miles away, and during latest siege, only the Dominican church well provided water
After entering through Pile Gate this is one of the first monuments you come across. Built in the 15th century but heavily damaged in the 1667 earthquake, the fountain is a great place to sit & relax. 16 carved masks with water jets gushing from their mouths into a drainage pool remain.
The Big Onforio's Fountain is most likely the first monument you'll see once entering the old town. It stands right in front of the Pile Gate. It's a polygon shaped fountain with 16 garved heads, built in 1438.
Now there are two Onofrios fountains; the big one pictured here and the smaller one @ Luza just below the Bell Tower. These were public access points for the medieval aqueductal spring derived water system designed to supply water to ancient Dubrovnik. The spring itself is 12km away and via covered aqueducts and water mills the H2O reaches the town. These are reminiscent of the karez water systems I saw in western China devised by the Uighurs to supply water from the mountain-snowmelt to the dry plains below, except here its an underground spring..probably fed by snowmelt from the surrounding Dalmatian ranges
Around the fountain is a cosy lively piazza, where ballads, cafes and the imposing Franciscan monastery can be found near the city gate. Here to is a great landmark for the beginning of the Stradun and its delights.
Very near to Franciscan Monastery on the western side of the old town is Onofrio’s Large Fountain, was build in 1440. In the 1667 earthquake, it lost original functionality, although clear river water still flows from the 16 fountains today. The well is situated 20 km far from this place and the work is outstanding
This water well was built during the 15th century and brings water from 12 km away. The water still runs today and you can drink or wash your hands in it. It is located inside the City walls as you enter through the Pile Gate you will see it just before the Stradun , the main street.
Located at the open space right to Pile gate. It is a 16-sided drinking fountain built by Onofrio de la Cava (1438 - 1444). The Fountain is part of the town's water supply system which Onofrio managed to create by bringing the water from the well in Rijeka Dubrovacka. The well is located 20 km from Big Onofrio's Fountain and this construction was a masterpiece of that time.