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Fountains and Watering Places in Český Krumlov

Gargoyle from fountain, water spouter, collection of Regional Museum of National History in Český Krumlov The need for clean water was the main reason why from the 15th century the citizens of Český Krumlov sought a way to build a local water system to supply the town with water. It was also important to build reservoirs and water tanks that water could flow through. These reservoirs and tanks were situated in squares and open places, on courtyards and quiet corners of the streets. These tanks of drinking water looked like reservoirs or fountains and were built on easily accessible places. It was also important because of fires which occured very often. The fountains and reservoirs played an important role as a centre of communication, as people used to meet and chat about their families, neighbours and events that happened in the town when they came for water. "At the fountain on the square, young ladies would meet in the morning and early evening for water. The place then became a courtroom bench. They gossiped about each and every household and woman, all family secrets were hung out for all to see, and they shared tidbits about lovers, new clothes, and soldiers and rendevous," from a would-be text from the middle 19th century. Water was brought to the fountains with wooden bored pipes, made mostly from pine trees. The trees were about 30 cm in diameter and were 5 m long. To bore a hole through it they used a special gimlet. Later the wooden pipes were replaced with cast iron or ceramic pipes.

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Although this pipe system no longer functions, many fountains have been preserved up to today.

The town fountains

Brewery Eggenberg ( Latrán No. 27):
This six-sided stone fountain 140 cm high standing on a 180 cm high retaining wall is situated in the courtyard of the brewery. The whole construction is 320 cm high. The circuit of the retaining wall is 17.5 m. A walkway 50 cm wide which made access to the reservoir to clean it easier, is around the fountain on its retaining wall. At a heel of the fountain is a smaller stone trough that was filled with water running from the fountain. The pipes were finished with a bronze tap. This fountain was not supplied with water from the water system but used water taken from a well beneath it. This means that the fountain was used as a water reservoir. An emblem of Český Krumlov was chiselled into one side of the fountain and we further see the year 1666 - the year the fountain was built.

Klášterní street:
A stone tank 60 cm high, 140 cm wide, and 260 cm long. The back of the fountain gently slopes down. A square 10x10 cm hole is in the right back corner and is placed 20 cm above the bottom of the tank. The hole was later walled up and was originally probably the supply. On the same side a shallow runner was chiselled into the retaining wall and served as an overflow. The supply as well as the overflow were later replaced with steel pipes.

Latrán no. 50, Clarissian convent, fountain in the foreground

At Nové Město:
A stone tank without a supply is situated in an extension at a courtyard of the building at Radniční No. 26. It is 120 cm high and 80 cm wide. Its height, together with the retaining wall, is 175 cm.

Latrán No. 13:
A stone tank 65 cm wide and 200 cm long is situated just opposite an entrance to the courtyard at the wall of the building. A back plate with half-oval tank was probably annexed to this stone tank. A supply leads to this annexed tank.

Latrán no.  13, fountain on the building´s courtyard - condition before reconstruction, foto: Ladislav Pouzar

Parkán:
A little stone tank is situated at a garden wall under a theatre opposite Parkán No. 116. The tank is 65 cm wide, 200 cm long, and 60 cm high. It was supplied by an iron pipe put in the wall above the little tank.

Fountain on Parkán Street in Český Krumlov

Kaplická street:
A stone reservoir is situated next to a building Kaplická no. 167. It was completed of four stone prisms, between which are stone plates. It is 180 cm wide and 230 cm long. Two concrete steps are before this fountain. The fountain has been rebuilt into a flower bed.

Rooseweltova street:
A stone fountain is situated in a corner that is made by a line falling back next to building no. 46. The tank is 160 cm wide and 290 cm long. Its height is 80 cm. Its bottom is completed of smaller stones. It is decorated with a profiled edge and chiselled socle. A narrow path made of stone plates is around the fountain.

Fountain on Rooseveltově Street

Plešivecké square:
A stone fountain is situated in the south corner of this small square at no. 97. It is 220 cm wide, 350 cm long, and 100 cm high. It is decorated with a profiled edge and at the heel is a wider area for a socle. Access to this fountain is possible by two stairs in front of the fountain. A little stone trough is placed on a wall several metres from this fountain, put there later because near the fountain is neither supply of water nor out-flow. Maybe originally it was situated next to the fountain and was used to water the animals. Its width is 65 cm, length 160 cm and height 50 cm.

Kostelní street:
A stone fountain between the stairs leading to the St. Vitus church and supporting wall. The fountain has an oval tank placed on a socle and annexed to a column. Outflow of the water was 65 cm above the tank from the column. The lower 2/3 of this column are made of granite. The top of the head is made of different material and was probably added later. The whole height is 3 m.

Fountain on Kostelní Street in Český Krumlov

Masná street:
A stone fountain of an oval shape is 75 cm wide, 370 cm long, and 85 cm high. It was made of a single piece of stone. The upper edge is decorated with a chiselled border. A washboard is placed in the wall above the fountain and there is the year 1868. The motif of the washboard probably indicates its function - it was a fountain to wash clothes. Only one step leads to the fountain.

Fountain on Masná Street

Široká street:
A stone fountain in front of a house Široká no. 51. It is 245 cm wide, 340 cm long and 10 cm high. Two stairs lead to this fountain.

Svornosti square:
A stone six-sided Fountain in the Square in Český Krumlov with a plague pillar. The basic outer circuit is about 30 m long. The fountain in a large part surrounds the plague pillar, while only from one side - access from the town hall - do stairs make access to the pillar possible. A walkway around the pillar is edged with a stone railing. The columns of the railing are decorated with lion heads from which run the supply pipes. The fountain is 195 cm deep and 90 cm high. One or two stairs are around the outer edge. These stairs link up the stairs to the plague pillar.

Fountain and Plague Pillar on the town square in Český Krumlov, foto: Libor Sváček

Lvíček (little lion):
This is a gargoyle of a stream in Deer Garden In Český Krumlov. A stone head, probably a lion's head, is placed into a modern facade. Water flows from the animal's mouth and flows to a runner under it. This stream is very popular among the citizens and is used very much.

Fountain Lvíček in the Deer Gardens in Český Krumlov Fountain Lvíček (little lion) in Deer Gardens, condition in 1998


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