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This stunning fountain is actually one of the city’s most famous landmarks. The Jet d’Eau is also one of the largest fountains in the world. It sits where the Geneva fountain empties into the Rhone River. Its jet of water, hence its name, shoots so high into the air, that it can be seen  throughout the entire city, and even from the air. There is roughly five hundred liters of water per second that are jetted to 140 meters high. The water will leave the nozzle at approximately 200 kilometers per hour. When the fountain is in operation there are roughly 7000 liters of water in the air at any given moment. Often visitors who travel down the stone jetty to see the fountain may return drenched from a sudden wind change! 

The original Jet d’Eau was installed in 1886 a little further downstream than its current location. It original purpose was to be used as a safety valve for a hydraulic power plant. It was recognized for its aesthetic value in 1891, and was therefore moved to its new location to celebrate the Federal Gymnastics Festival as well as the 600th anniversary of the Swiss Confederation. This was also when it was operated for the very first time at this location. It reached a maximum height of 90 meters. 

The present Jet d’Eau was installed in 1951. Instead of using the city water it was partially submerged in a pumping station to pump lake water. The changes allowed the fountain to reach a height of 140 meters. The fountain, since 2003, has pumped water year round, except in the case of frost or really strong winds. It operates during the evening during spring through autumn as well, creating a beautiful focal point as it is lit by a set of 12 lights reaching 108 kilowatts. 

This exciting piece of Geneva history is definitely worth risking a drenching if you ever find yourself in Geneva. This is an icon for tourism, featured as the logo for the office of tourism even. Experiencing the full force and the noise of the fountain gives one a totally new appreciation for the fountain. You certainly will not regret this one of a kind wonder!