Fountain of the Four Continents, Trieste
Fountain of the Four Continents in Trieste (Fontana dei Quattro Continenti) is located on the Piazza Unità d'Italia in front of the Town Hall. A winged figure stands out in the center of the sculptural composition on a pedestal of uneven blocks, embodying the hospitality of the port city. It is surrounded by bales, barrels and boxes. Below in the four corners of the pool there are figures of people with animals, symbolizing Europe, Asia, Africa and America. Between them there are statues, embodying the four main rivers for the people of that time – Nile, Ganges, La Plata and Danube. They hold jugs in their hands, from which water flows into the bowls below.
History of the Fountain of the Four Continents
The Fountain of the Four Continents was created between 1751 and 1754 according to the project of the famous master Giovanni Battista Mazzoleni. The monument was to become a symbol of the prosperity of Trieste as a port city, and it was achieved thanks to the policies of Emperor Charles VI and Empress Maria Theresa.
The fate of the Fontana dei Quattro Continenti was not simple. In 1925 there was a plan to demolish it. It was avoided due to the protests of famous cultural figures of the city of that time.
In 1938, the fountain was dismantled in order to free the square in honor of the arrival of Benito Mussolini. The monument was returned to the square only in 1970, but it was displaced.
In 2000, as part of the reconstruction of the Piazza Unità d'Italia, the fountain was moved back to the center.
Unfortunately, in recent years, the sculptural composition has become a victim of vandals a few times. Out of the four statues, only the one that epitomizes Europe was not damaged. In 2008, the statue symbolizing Africa was decapitated at night. And in 2015, a mentally unbalanced local resident climbed the fountain and caused serious damage with an iron pipe.
How to get there
Arriving in Trieste by train, you can walk to the fountain. A walk from Trieste Centrale to the Piazza Unità d'Italia along the promenade will take you no more than 15 minutes.
Buses № 8, 9, 10, 11, 24, 30 stop in a two-minute walk from the fountain (near Palazzo del Governo).