French Friday: Les Fontaines Wallace aka Paris Bubblers

“Si vous rencontrez une fontaine, ne passer pas sans vous y abreuver.” - Denis Lapointe

Wallace Fountain — Place Saint-Sulpice

Wallace Fountain — Place Saint-Sulpice

During the Siege of Paris in 1870 and the ensuing Commune, many of Paris’ aqueducts were destroyed. As a result water was drawn directly from the Seine and sold for exorbitant prices. The water was so dirty that it was actually safer and cheaper to drink alcoholic beverages, leading to even greater social and economic issues. In an effort to provide free potable water, philanthropist, Sir Richard Wallace (1818–1890), designed and funded the construction of sixty-seven drinking fountains around the city. The dark green fountains display four caryatids representing kindness, simplicity, charity, and sobriety. Each one is different from her sisters by the way she bends her knees and where her tunic is tucked into her blouse. The water comes from the center of the dome and falls down into a basin that is protected by a grille. Originally, each fountain included two tin-plated, iron cups attached by a small chain, but they were removed in 1952 for hygiene reasons. Most of the fountains still distribute perfectly potable water from March through November.

Wallace Fountain in front of Shakespeare and Company

Wallace Fountain in front of Shakespeare and Company

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Wallace Fountain — Champs-Élysées

Wallace Fountain — Champs-Élysées


  • 3rd arrondissement: Boulevard de Sébastopol, square Chautemps; Passage du Pont aux biches; Rue de la corderie, place Nathalie Lemel

  • 4th arrondissement: Place Louis Lépine, next to the Chambre de Commerce; Place Louis Lépine, next to the Hôtel-dieu; 7, Boulevard du Palais; 123, rue Saint-Antoine; Small models: Place Louis Lepine; Quai de la Corse

  • 5th arrondissement: Rue Poliveau, face rue de l'Essai; 37, rue de la Bûcherie (Shakespeare and Company), Rue des Patriarches; Wall-mounted: Intersection of Rue Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire and Rue Cuvier

  • 6th arrondissement: Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés; Place Saint-Sulpice; Pont Neuf, Quai des Grands Augustins; Rue Vavin, at rue Bréa; Place Saint-André-des-Arts; Esplanade Pierre-Vidal-Naquet

  • 7th arrondissement: Small model - Place des Invalides

  • 8th arrondissement: Rue de St-Pétersbourg, at rue de Turin; Av. des Champs-Élysées, Chevaux de Marly (north side); Av. des Champs-Élysées, Chevaux de Marly (south side)

  • 9th arrondissement: Place Gustave Toudouze; Place de Budapest

  • 10th arrondissement: Place Juliette Dodu; Place Jacques Bonsergent; Place Robert Desnos

  • 11th arrondissement: 143, rue de la Roquette; 197, Boulevard Voltaire; 44, rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud; 94, rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud; 1, Boulevard Richard Lenoir; 89, Boulevard Richard Lenoir; Small models: 32, boulevard Richard Lenoir; 74, boulevard Richard Lenoir

  • 12th arrondissement: Cours de Vincennes, face Blvd de Picpus, Angle de St-Mandé; at rue du Rendez-vous; Rue Descot, face Mairie du XIIe arrondissement; boulevard Menilmontant

  • 13th arrondissement: 82, avenue d'Italie; Rue de la Butte-aux-cailles, at rue de l'Espérance; ZAC Baudricourt, at avenue d'Ivry; Small model: Place Paul Verlaine

  • 14th arrondissement: Avenue Reille, at avenue René Coty; Place Jules Hénaffe; Place Edgard quinet, at rue de la Gaîté; Place Denfert-Rochereau, at Blvd Raspail; Avenue du Maine, face Mairie du XIVè arrondissement

  • 15th arrondissement: Place Henri Rollet; 2, boulevard Pasteur; Place du Général Beuret; Place Charles Vallin; Small models: Place Alain Chartier; Place Saint Charles; 19, Place du Commerce; 35, boulevard Pasteur

  • 16th arrondissement: 10, boulevard Delessert; 194, avenue de Versailles; Place Jean Lorrain; Place de Passy; Place du Père Marcellin Campagnat; Esplanade Pierre-Vidal-Naquet; Colonnaded: Rue de Rémusat, at Rue de Mirabeau

  • 17th arrondissement: 112, avenue de Villiers; Place Aimé Maillard; 15, avenue Niel; 1, avenue de Wagram; 112, boulevard des Batignolles; Small model: Place de Lévis; Colonnaded: Avenue des Ternes, at Place Pierre Demours

  • 18th arrondissement: Place Emile Goudeau; 42, boulevard Rochechouart; Rue Saint-Eleuthère, at rue Azaïs; Place des Abbesses; Rue de la Goutte d'or, at rue de Chartres

  • 19th arrondissement: 214, boulevard de la Villette; 139, Rue Meaux at Rue du Rhi

  • 20th arrondissement: Place Édith Piaf; 6, rue Eugène Belgrand; 29, boulevard de Ménilmontant; Place Maurice Chevalier; Rue Piat, face au square