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The Schoner Brunnen, is a German fountain which translates to Beautiful fountain. This stunning fountain is located in the main marketplace of Nuremberg, and was created by stonemason Heinrich Beheim. A trip through Germany would not be complete without visiting this fountain! The original fountain was believed to be built between 1385 and 1396. The first restoration of the fountain took place in 1822-1824, conducted by sculptor Jacob Daniel Burgschmiet. The Beautiful Fountain was replaced with a replica in 1912, and parts of the original were moved into the Germanisches National Museum in the 20th century.

There are many artistic monuments throughout Europe, but the Schoner Brunnen, covered in concrete, was able to withstand a war-torn Germany. Nuremberg’s Hauptmarkt was a pile of rubble after the war, which made the intact fountain a huge statement! Governments were particular about what would be target during the war, and it seemed soldiers would not destroy things of art and beauty. The fact that this beautiful fountain was left standing in the mess of pure ugly and chaos, was something to be admired and respected, and quite frankly, extraordinary. Thus, this Gothic type fountain continues to be Nuremberg’s favorite monument.

The Fountain
Perhaps the most interesting part of this fountain is that it has no running water. It is used as a monument, and has none of the lively and energetic characters that water adds. The fountain is known best for other features. The fountain features a 62 foot spire placed in an octagonal basin. The pool is decorated with ornamental statues of philosophers, evangelists, and religious figures. The spire is to commemorate Jewish and Christian heroes.

The Schoner Brunner fountain also features ornate railings surrounding the fountain in addition to the statues. It is encouraged for visitors to make a wish on the fountain, and then turn the legendary golden ring featured into the railings, three times, and the wish should come true. The golden ring, called a Glucksbringer, is a lucky charm. It brings happiness to the heart, so by turning it you will be lucky in love, according to legend. The legend does recommend that the ring needs to be turned 360 degrees, three times, to create good fortune.

Historically, the protective railing was created in 1587 by Palaus Kuhn. The ring was not an original part of the fencing, and was not added until 1902 by Albert Leipond, who was repairing the railing at the time. He added the lucky ring to the railings, maybe thinking it would be a neat story to add the catchy myth to the rather plain monument. Maybe his goal was to create happiness for everyone who visited the fountain. Perhaps it was just a really good marketing scheme to get tourist to the area. This is very probable as the original golden ring was hard to even see in its placement high up on the railing. A second ring was added at a later point for visibility sake. The original ring was also the same color as the railing, while the second ring was made of a shiny golden metal to make it more appealing and visible to tourists.

The sandstone figures were also replaced with shell lime statues from 1897 to 1902. This fountain is a definite site to see if you are visiting through Germany, and be sure to make your own wish, you never know, it may just come true!