French Fountain Brought Back to Life

One of Princes Street Gardens’ oldest features is to be restored to its former glory with a little help from one of its newer attractions.

The Ross Fountain was switched off four years ago to prevent further damage after it suffered substantial water loss.

Now money generated by the Festival Wheel in August will be diverted to help water flow through the 150 year-old cast iron fountain once again.

The City of Edinburgh Council is exploring options to secure its long-term future, by repairing the structural damage and foundations and restoring the fountain, at a cost of £0.5m.

Councillor Richard Lewis, the city’s Culture and Sport Convener, said: “The Ross Fountain is one of the most iconic structures in Scotland and has been situated in West Princes Street Gardens for over 140 years. Over time, it has required regular maintenance and investment – which is why it is essential the Council thinks about carrying out a lasting restoration of the fountain to its former glory.

“While this would no doubt prove to be an expensive restoration, the options identified have been based on extensive research and are the most cost effective solutions available.

“What we are now facing is an opportunity to source funding from a variety of people and organisations, not just the Council, in order to secure the future of the Ross Fountain for a further 100 years.”

Sitting in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, the fountain is a favourite with visitors and locals. It was made near Paris by the Durenne Foundry over 150 years ago. The figures on it were sculpted by Jean-Baptiste Jules Klagmann who also made figures for the Louvre and Luxembourg Gardens in the French capital.

Despite being surrounded my metal barriers, it still looks resplendent in the winter sunshine.

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