11. Fountains

Apostelbrunnen, Marktbrunnen, Georgsbrunnen and Christophorusbrunnen.

Read the story

Rottweil can rightly be called a fountain town. Everywhere in town, there are fountains that gush away as they did in times gone by.

In the late Middle Ages, this budding town mostly had houses with cistern-like wells that easily went down to 10 metres deep. As the town centre gradually expanded, however, it was necessary to exploit water resources outside the town and to channel this precious water via wooden pipes to the new fountains being built. The earlier “house wells” were being used as latrines. At the end of the 16th century, there were 26 fountains in the town, 8 in the old town and 14 in open fields.

There was a so-called “fountain master” who was responsible for keeping the water flowing, preventing the wells and fountains from freezing in winter and making sure they did not get contaminated. As early as in 1591, the fountain master was officially permitted to wear “the ancestral colours of the town”, free of charge. The colours red and white were those worn by Rottweil’s uniformed employees.

Over and over again, the council had to intervene when dirty clothes were illegally washed in the fountains or other improper use was revealed. In 1625, complaints were heard that “all sorts of waste and trash” were dumped into fountains, “thus not only bringing upon man and beast all kinds of diseases, but also bringing about great fire risks and general misery, not only rotten doom”. In 1656, the council addressed the saddlers, shoemakers and hatters, the furriers, tanners and hosiers, threatening severe penalties if they “stuffed, pressed or washed” furs, tanned or untanned skins, hats, stockings and “other things of that kind” in the wells.
Animals were allowed to quench their thirst at the “mouse fountains”, the small outlets below the troughs. Besides this, fountains were important water reservoirs in the event of fire.

The people of Rottweil placed great value on the artistic features of the fountains.

In front of the town hall, you’ll find the Apostelbrunnen:
Depicted here are the apostles Peter, James the Elder and John. They symbolize faith, hope and love.

In front of the “Predigerkirche”, there’s the Christopherusbrunnen
For centuries, St. Christopher has been keeping a watchful eye on travellers on what is now the “Friedrichsplatz”.

Leaving town via the “Hochbrücke” you see the Georgs- oder Grafenbrunnen, depicting Saint George, St. Catherine and Our Lady.

At the main junction, there is the Marktbrunnen, an extraordinary political monument in Gothic and Renaissance style. The figures on the four levels show the human virtues of faith, love, hope and strength as well as the vices avarice, arrogance, sloth and rage. Note the biblical personalities from the Old Testament and from antiquity, David, Judith and Caesar, and the Sun and the planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars and Mercury.

The Swiss standard is held by the figure on top of the pyramid. In this way, the people from Rottweil announce to all new arrivals that they had had an alliance with the Swiss Confederation.

The fountain used to be painted in different colours. In 1607, the fountain shaft was gilded by the goldsmith Sebastian Dreher, and feathers were put on the sailor’s beret.

From the late 19th century onwards and even after World War I the confederate standard bearer had to wear a spiked helmet.

Location

Information

You want to know more?
In our tourist information office we will gladly tell you more about our many guided tours:

Tourist-Information Rottweil
Hauptstraße 21
78628 Rottweil

Tel: +49 741 494 280
E-Mail: tourist-information@rottweil.de

Apostelbrunnen

„Apostelbrunnen“

Christophorusbrunnen

„Christophorusbrunnen“

Georgsbrunnen

„Georgsbrunnen“

Der Marktbrunnen

„Marktbrunnen“ (market fountain)

Der Marktbrunnen um 1950

The „Marktbrunnen“ around 1950

Read the story

Rottweil can rightly be called a fountain town. Everywhere in town, there are fountains that gush away as they did in times gone by.

In the late Middle Ages, this budding town mostly had houses with cistern-like wells that easily went down to 10 metres deep. As the town centre gradually expanded, however, it was necessary to exploit water resources outside the town and to channel this precious water via wooden pipes to the new fountains being built. The earlier “house wells” were being used as latrines. At the end of the 16th century, there were 26 fountains in the town, 8 in the old town and 14 in open fields.

There was a so-called “fountain master” who was responsible for keeping the water flowing, preventing the wells and fountains from freezing in winter and making sure they did not get contaminated. As early as in 1591, the fountain master was officially permitted to wear “the ancestral colours of the town”, free of charge. The colours red and white were those worn by Rottweil’s uniformed employees.

Over and over again, the council had to intervene when dirty clothes were illegally washed in the fountains or other improper use was revealed. In 1625, complaints were heard that “all sorts of waste and trash” were dumped into fountains, “thus not only bringing upon man and beast all kinds of diseases, but also bringing about great fire risks and general misery, not only rotten doom”. In 1656, the council addressed the saddlers, shoemakers and hatters, the furriers, tanners and hosiers, threatening severe penalties if they “stuffed, pressed or washed” furs, tanned or untanned skins, hats, stockings and “other things of that kind” in the wells.
Animals were allowed to quench their thirst at the “mouse fountains”, the small outlets below the troughs. Besides this, fountains were important water reservoirs in the event of fire.

The people of Rottweil placed great value on the artistic features of the fountains.

In front of the town hall, you’ll find the Apostelbrunnen:
Depicted here are the apostles Peter, James the Elder and John. They symbolize faith, hope and love.

In front of the “Predigerkirche”, there’s the Christopherusbrunnen
For centuries, St. Christopher has been keeping a watchful eye on travellers on what is now the “Friedrichsplatz”.

Leaving town via the “Hochbrücke” you see the Georgs- oder Grafenbrunnen, depicting Saint George, St. Catherine and Our Lady.

At the main junction, there is the Marktbrunnen, an extraordinary political monument in Gothic and Renaissance style. The figures on the four levels show the human virtues of faith, love, hope and strength as well as the vices avarice, arrogance, sloth and rage. Note the biblical personalities from the Old Testament and from antiquity, David, Judith and Caesar, and the Sun and the planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars and Mercury.

The Swiss standard is held by the figure on top of the pyramid. In this way, the people from Rottweil announce to all new arrivals that they had had an alliance with the Swiss Confederation.

The fountain used to be painted in different colours. In 1607, the fountain shaft was gilded by the goldsmith Sebastian Dreher, and feathers were put on the sailor’s beret.

From the late 19th century onwards and even after World War I the confederate standard bearer had to wear a spiked helmet.

Locations

Information

You want to know more?
In our tourist information office we will gladly tell you more about our many guided tours:

Tourist-Information Rottweil
Hauptstraße 21
78628 Rottweil

Tel: +49 741 494 280
E-Mail: tourist-information@rottweil.de

Apostelbrunnen

„Apostelbrunnen“

Christophorusbrunnen

„Christophorusbrunnen“

Georgsbrunnen

„Georgsbrunnen“

Der Marktbrunnen

„Marktbrunnen“ (market fountain)

Der Marktbrunnen um 1950

The „Marktbrunnen“ around 1950