Ehekarussell - Marriage Merry-Go-Round Fountain, Nürnberg
The Marriage Merry-Go-Round (Carousel) fountain is an interesting and controversial work. Situated in a pedestrian shopping area next to the White Tower, it was built in 1984 at a high cost. The large fountain, a dramatic portrayal of married life from courtship to death, was part of the storm wrought by the design.
The fountain was designed by sculptor Jürgen Weber and is based on a poem entitled “Bittersweet Married Life” by 16th century Nürnberg born poet Hans Sachs. The sculpture attempts to describe the sweetness and tribulations of married life that Sachs describes in his poem. You can see the couple progress through life as beautiful happy young people, change into older people with attitudes, and finally turn into skeletons.
The White Tower was interesting, but not as interesting as the "Marriage Carousel Fountain" located beside it. The Fountain is considered the largest European figure fountain in the 20th Century.
Wow! I love these large European fountains with large scale architecture, this one has that!
In 1984, a Sculptor by the name of Jurgen Weber designed and built this Fountain over the subway ventilation shaft which is hidden in the middle of the fountain. What a good way to hide an ugly shaft!
The Fountain tells the story in an exaggerated way, of the ups and downs of married life, beginning from when couples are first in love and through to death. Not only are there sculptures of the couples, but also of many animals, including a Bear, Goat, Dragon and a Pelican.
This baroque style fountain with the gilded bronze figures is very different, I quite liked it - It is ART!
Not everybody likes it though, especially when it was finished and viewed for the first time. The Press and the Public called it vulgar, I will let you be the judge!
The fountain was designed by Jürgen Weber and erected in 1984; the work refers to the 1541 poem "Bitter-sweet Married Life" by Hans Sachs, who described the various stages of marriage from ardent love through exhausting struggles, ending with the death bed. The fountain's sculptures reflect this text in all its beauty and horror, while Hans Sachs is depicted dancing above a goat and a virginal beauty.
The Marriage Fountain is on Karolinestrasse near the White Tower U-Station. This sculpture seems to specialize in the horrors of marriage with couples strangling each other; couples where one is huge and stuffing her face, while the other is starving and skeletal; couples surrounded by demanding children; couples where one wants to be quiet and the other is blowing a trumpet in her face. Guess the sculptor was not too happily married or had a weird sense of humour. It was quite funny. Nearby is the white tower, Elizabeth church and another church. The fountain is supposedly based on a poem called Bittersweet Marital life by Hans Sachs.
The Fountain was found in 1984 by Jurgen Weber. It refers to the poem "Bitter-sweet Married Life" by Hans Sachs, who described marriage from the first stages of a love through exhausting fights, and right to the death bed. The fountain's sculptures reflect this text in all its beauty and horror.
The fountain in front of the White Tower was created in 1977-1984 to cover the ugly hole of an air shaft for the subway which runs underneath. The sculptor Jürgen Weber from Braunschweig chose a topic related to Nürnberg's culture: The fountain illustrates a poem by Hans Sachs, the 16th century shoemaker and poet, entitled "The Bittersweet Marital Life". The text of the poem can be found within the fountain, it is incised on the granite heart that points towards the tower. Hans Sachs describes the ups and downs of marriage, his wife is sometimes the angel, sometimes the devil to him. (The poem has only one point of view, i.e. the husband's; I'd be interested to know how the wife would have described him...)
Weber selected six scenes from Sachs's long list. He designed a roundabout with six carriages, each in the shape of an animal that matches the scene:
- the loving young couple in the swan bed
- the older man holding his wife in chains, tearing off her dress, seemingly ready to take ehr by force
- eternal fighting of an old, almost skeleton-like couple on a giant lizard
- the caring mother feeding her children in a pelican who, referring to an ancient Christian legend, tears open her breast to feed her offspring with her blood
- the fat woman devouring cake after cake and her desperate skinny husband, carried by a wolverine (in German: "Vielfraß")
- the young beauty, rising from a shell like Aphrodite, and the admiring trumpeter and the billy-goat that represents the lust
On top of the sweetcorn cob, Hans Sachs the poet is shown dancing. The nymph of the fountain is kneeling in the water basin below.
The rose column on the opposite side shows the names of the artist and his second wife.
S*x and violence are omnipresent topics. The fountain caused quite some controversies and criticism in the city at first. Considering Weber's choleric and self-rrighteous personality, I can imagine the style of the fights. However, in the meantime it has been widely accepted.
How do I know? From himself. I had the pleasure to attend Weber's classes at Braunschweig University for three semesters in the late 1980s. He once gave us a lecture about his own works and also explained this fountain, one of his largest works. A lot more background is in his autobiography, which describes both the failure of his own first marriage and the public controversies about the Marriage Roundabout in a rather self-righteous way, and just as one-sided as Hans Sachs described his marital life.
This Statue is near the Kristkindlmarkt in Nuernberg. This may appear demonic. It is not. It is called Ehekarussell (Marriage Merry-Go-Round Fountain) created in 1984 by the sculptor Prof. Jürgen Weber as a visual manifestation of Hans Sachs' poem "Bittersweet marital life". Hans Sachs is a Nurnberg native. Hmmm, judging from the gruesomness of this sculpture, someone has negative view of marriage!
Thanks for the assist, tamoneyhan!
The extremely controversial German sculptor Juergen Weber created this fountain in 1984 drawing on the Sachs poem " Bittersweet Married Life". It depicts 6 phases of married life in far less than attractive terms, beginning with early lust and depicting child-raising and the squabble-filled middle age period. The last phase depicts two emaciated oldsters trying to kill each other.
Directly underneath the Weisser Turm is the wonderful and eye-catching Ehekarusell (Marriage Carousel) fountain. It's rude and provocative and was sculpted by Prof. Jürgen Weber in 1984 and based on the poem "Bittersweet Marital Life" by Hans Sachs. I haven't read this poem, but based on the hellish vision presented in this sculpture I'd guess that Sachs wasn't all that keen on the institution. Cavorting couples, chained women, crazed men, strangled swans and giant fish monsters poured all over each other like a Picasso painting. Love it or hate it, you absolutely can't miss it.
Deleted text on Barbara’s request, though it had a link
Marriage Merry-Go-Round Fountain was created in 1984 by the sculptor Prof. Jürgen Weber as a visual manifestation of Hans Sachs' poem "Bittersweet marital life".