An English philanthropist who funded a network of public drinking water fountains in Paris gave 12 to Barcelona in 1888, of which only two remains.
Unnoticed and the 12 that had Barcelona and only two remain in the streets of the city. This is known as Wallace sources, surname of English philanthropist who distributed them to different cities of Europe and America. For history we must go back to Paris in the late nineteenth century.
The French capital was suffering the consequences of war with Prussia and the Commune. The bombing had caused much destruction. One of the effects was the increase in the price of water, often preventing access to the supply of the masses, which in turn led to problems of hygiene and sanitation. To remedy this situation, an English philanthropist Richard Wallace, heir to a great fortune and living in Paris, decided to finance, among other works, a set of public sources to provide free water throughout the city.
Wallace commissioned the design source sculptor Charles-Auguste Lebourg. There were several models, but the most popular was a set of cast iron of 2.71 meters high which is characterized by four caryatids supporting the dome. Represent goodness, simplicity, charity and sobriety, and the four seasons. They have the right balance between monumentality and sobriety, as well as between utility and aesthetics. The goal was to get a reasonable price per unit that would install them throughout Paris.
Wallace decided to extend to other cities its source to reinforce the idea of brotherhood among men. Barcelona was one of the chosen, thanks to the friendship that Mayor Rius i Taulet strike up with philanthropist. Thus, during the Universal Exhibition of 1888, Wallace sent 12 sources to Barcelona. Today and only surviving original two. One is on the Rambla, opposite the passage through which you access the Museu de Cera. The other is in one corner of the Gran Via and Passeig de Gràcia. There are others, but later copies. San Sebastián, New Orleans, London, Montevideo, Montreal, Zurich and other cities Burscheid are Club Wallace Fountains.
Courtesy Avantgarde Limousine Barcelona