The fountain of Hercules, in Còrsega street with Passeig Sant Joan, is the oldest public monument in the city, opened in 1802 in the disappeared Passeig of the Esplanade
It is the oldest public statue of Barcelona and represents Hercules, mythological founder of the city. Currently he can be seen capping the fountain of crossing the Paseo Sant Joan and Còrsega. But it was not always there. When built, for over two centuries, it was located in the late ride Esplanada, a landscaped public space in Barcelona between the Ribera district and the Ciutadella fortress.
It is the work of Salvador Gurri, a sculptor highly prized in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. It is estimated that the monument was built between 1797 and 1802, on the initiative of the then Captain General of Catalonia, Augustine of Lancaster, to commemorate the visit to Barcelona of King Carlos IV and his wife, Maria Luisa of Parma. In fact, the source of Hercules was part of a set of four devoted to mythological characters. The other three were devoted to Fortis sea god, a Nereid riding a dolphin and the nymph Arethusa. The Hercules is the only survivor of that group.
The original location of the four fountains, the walk to the Esplanade, for nearly a century was a very popular and frequented by the locals space, devoid of amenities within the walls. The tour ran more or less parallel to the street Commerce, in full security zone, uninhabited, which had been arranged around the Ciutadella. He starting near what is now the station França and ending in the Portal Nou, almost touching the current Arc de Triomf, largely following the path of Paseo Picasso.
The demolition of the strength and development of the park and the site of the Universal Exhibition of 1888 condemned this first public garden and fountains. Only saved Hercules, being in the near Arc de Triomf end, so he joined gardens also disappeared Palau de les Belles Arts. He was there until 1928, when his transfer was decided to urbanize the ride Sant Joan, designed as an extension of the Esplanada.
Until the Civil War, the dean of the city monument was the source of Santa Eulalia, originally from 1673, which was destroyed during the war and later restored.
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