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The Ogre Fountain is a curious water feature located in Bern, Switzerland. It was built in 1544, and attracts tourists by the thousands each year. The gaudy carnival-like figure sits on top of the fountain eating the babies he has collected. 

The Legend

The legend behind the Ogre fountain, also known as Kindlifresserbrunnen, is steeped in ant semantic beginnings. The reason for this was, at one time, it was painted all yellow, the color used to vilify Jews during medieval times. However, the Bernese people say it is simple a light-hearted carnival figure. It may be a graphic representation of the belief that during medieval Europe the Jewish religion had rituals that involved murdering children. Whatever the basis is for this fountain, of which we know not, the population of Berns is unfazed by the graphicness of this fountain, looking at it as just another tourist site. 

The Sculptor
The sculptor of this unique fountain was built by Hans Gieng, a Swabian, a region in Germany. His style is reminiscent of Swabian art. The Gothic creation of religious art is combined with traditional details. The style is forceful and realistic in the world. Gieng is the sculptor that created most, if not all, of the public fountains erected in Bern from 1442 to 1546. 

The Ogre?
Why did Gieng choose to use an ogre for the fountain? Ogre’s represent hideous monsters, and are found in fairy tales as creatures that eat children. Ogres are often created with big heads, abundant hair, and a large protruding belly. Ogres, today, can be found in video games or modern fantasy games. The term ogre is also often applied to a disgusting person, who exploits and takes advantage of others. The ogre is a medieval expression found in water fountain sculptures. 

Bern is the capital of Switzerland, boasting a population of 130,000 people, making it the fourth largest city. It is full of a quaint old world charm. It features all the daily basics of life, making it perfect for a visit. You will find shops, cinemas, clubs, bars, and cafes. It is here to can even visit Einstein’s home. The fountain becomes one of the many attractions available.