The Donnerbrunnen or Donner Fountain, is a beautiful large baroque Fountain, built by Georg Donner between 1737 to 1739. The Fountain was also named after him. He had an idea to build a fountain representing four rivers, which he did!
The fountain has a few important figures, the main one in the centre of the fountain, is the 37 metre high female figure of "Providentia," holding a medallion with a Janus head, and in her left hand, a snake.
The female figure symbolizes the concern of the rulers for the welfare of their subjects. The concern here, was actually about supplying Vienna with vital water.
The fountain is surrounded by four allegorical figures, two male representing rivers of Upper Austria, and two female, representing rivers from lower Austria. The pedestal surrounded four Cherubs with water-spouting fish (pike, carp, catfish and salmon), which is where the water from the Danube comes out.
I didn't take photos of all the sculptures situated on the fountain ledge because of people in the way, so I will tell you about them.
The first sculpture was of the woman "March", the female form of the river goddess March. She is half lying down with one hand hanging onto a shell.
Next, was the male "Traun" who has a trident in his hand. He is lying over the edge trying to stab fish in the water.
Ybbs is the next woman, a youthful nymph, holding a vase.
Lastly is the male "Enns," an old, grey headed and bearded ferryman. An oar rests on his shoulder as he leans on rocky shore rock. His left leg hangs over the pool wall. He looks to be in a dream!
The figures are extremely well done, no wonder, as Donner was taught by a very famous Italian sculptor.
A closer look at the Fountain, reveals a relief showing the battle of the Romans from 2 AD.
The fountain was built in 1737 upon order of the city of Vienna, which is very unusual for a Baroque piece of art at that time, because only Emperor, rich nobility or church could afford artwork. The city commissioned Georg Raphael Donner, pupil of Giuliano Giuliani, whos idea was to provide Vienna with a four rivers fountain (obviously inspired after Bernini's fountain at Piazza Navona in Rome). Donner's idea was extraordinary; the river, portrayed as a young fisherman, is entirely outside the fountain and one is naturally inclined to go next to him to see if he actually managed to catch a fish. The models of the fountain were created by Donner while figures were created by Johan Nikolaus Moll.
Naked figures of the fountain (allegories of the Danube's tributaries) were removed soon after Emoress Maria Theresia established the Chastity Commission.
The real name of this fountain is "Providentia Brunnen" but nobody use it anymore. The fountain becoming famous in 1995 when it featured in the Generation-X movie "Before sunrise".
Erected between 1.737 and 1.739 by Georg Raphael Donner, the official name is the Providentia Fountain but everybody calls it the Donner Fountain.
, which is better known in Vienna as the Donner Fountain (Donner-Brunnen). The city fathers
Here's Oliver at Vienna's most graceful fountain in the center of the square (Neuer Markt).
Donnerbrunnen was sculpted by Georg Raphael Donner (hence, Donnerbrunnen) in the beginning of the 18th century.
The first publicly funded fountain.
Empress Maria Theresa ordered the lead cast nude figures to be removed and given to sculptor Fischer to be melted down but it was instead kept aside due to it shigh artistic value.