Already in the middle ages the town had a supply system of running water, first with small wooden fountains. From the 16th century, the fountains were erected in stone and decorated with sculptures. Have a closer look at them. They are all different. Some show biblical themes, others allegories or historical figures.
One of them is really scary, the Kindlifresserbrunnen in Kornhausplatz. The "child eater" devours little babies. This is a shrovetide allegory.
Swiss street fountains provide, unless marked otherwise, clean and pure drinking water.
Facts and History: Built in 1543 by Hans Gieng. If you've been to other Swiss towns and think you have seen something similar to this statue you probably have as 11 "fountains of justice" exist, with direct copies in 5 other towns and close replicas in 6 others.
Lady Justice as always has her eyes and ears bound. She has a Sword of Truth in her right hand and the scales in her left. (As a Libra I can readily associate with this statue) Just below Lady Justice are 4 figures representing the Pope (Theocracy), a Sultan (Monarchy), the Kaiser or Emporer (Autocracy) and the SchultheiB or Lord Mayor (Republic). These represent the power of Justice over the rulers and political systems of the day.
Fondest memory: Impressions: The detail of this and other statue/fountains in town are remarkable. How long did it take the artisians to plan and create these masterpieces?
For the favorite thing section of Bern I will cover a little history of the statues:
This statue located on Munsterplatz (Cathedral Plaza) shows Moses pointing to the 2nd Commandment (in essense "You shall not make for yourself any graven image" ), facing the Munster (Cathedral). Many images in the former Catholic Cathedral were destroyed during the Reformation.
The two objects projecting from the top of Moses' head are not some 16th century headdress, but represent two rays of light which shows that after Moses' meeting with God the skin of Moses' face became radiant. (just saw Charlton Heston in that movie last weekend).
The figure first erected in 1544-45 was designed by J.F. Sporer while the fountain's basin was designed by Niklaus Sprungli.
Fondest memory: For the fondest memory section of Bern I will cover some personal impressions of the statues:
Unless you get off the main shopping street in Bern and go to the Munster you will miss the statue. We happend to see this toward the end of our afternoon trip to Bern and the statue was totally in shadows. I think it would be interesting to see this statue bathed in the first morning light.