Thursday, December 01, 2005

Wallace Fountains, at last!


I don't know if you remember this post about Morris columns but it triggered a lot of comments about another usual object in the Paris scenery : the Wallace Fountains (Les Fontaines Wallace). Named after Sir Richard Wallace - a very wealthy Anglo-French philanthropist who used part of his money to improve the life of Parisians - there are still 108 of these still up and running fountains throughout Paris (the first one was installed in 1875). I took this shot at the bottom of the Champs Elysées and here you can have a more global view of it.


More blogs about paris photos.

24 comments:

  1. Elle ne serait pas un peu surex, cette photo ? Just kiddin' ;)

    BTW, all Wallace Fountains I've seen were dry. I wonder if some of those 100+ still work...

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  2. j'adore cette photo!... et les fontaines Wallace ... et les colonnes Morris... Bravo!

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  3. Oh, you mean these things?!!! Honestly, I had no idea what you guys were talking about when you first mentioned them. Oooops. Gorgeous pictures, thank you.

    By the way, Seattle, are you still there? :-)

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  4. I saw th fountain, but never knew the name, until now. Thanks a lot.

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  5. Nice photo Eric. Yes FredB, I've seen many that still work (Place St. Sulpice for example) and people still use them to drink from and was their hands.

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  6. There is another typically French open air item that is presently under way of total extinction: the public urinal.
    Most of them were located behind churches.
    Eric, could you try to spot for us one of these relics of our glorious past? (a picture of a "Decaux Sanisette" will not be considered as valid).

    My apologies to those who will find that this comment is inappropriate on such a brilliant blog. But this is also a slice of French history!

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  7. One additional comment.
    The correct French word for "public urinal" is "urinoir", more commonly called "pissotière" (I love this word!) or the classier "vespasienne", a term coming from the Roman emperor who introduced them in the antique city of Rome.

    My renewed apologies, etc. etc.

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  8. FX - What is a "Decaus Sasinette"?

    Great Pic, Eric. I had no idea what a Fontaine Wallace was before I saw this photo.

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  9. Hello,

    There only one "pissotière" or public urinal remaining in Paris. It is Boulevard Arago, near the crossing of Rue de la Santé along the wall of the prison.
    It is well known of taxi drivers. They can make a "arrêt pipi" - wee stop 24 hours a day.

    A "Sanisette Decaux" is the post modern electrical sanitized version of it.
    But, it cost now 0,40 € for relief...

    Regards,
    Michel

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  10. Elisabeth:
    A "Sanisette" is a public toilet, with a "admission fee" (typically 0.20-0.40 €).
    They were introduced in France by Decaux, an advertizing company that handles "urban furniture" ("mobilier urbain"), such as bus stops and street advertizing billboards.
    They automatically -- and thoroughly -- self-clean after each use, which makes them quite safe and sanitary.
    For a "nice" picture, go check:
    http://www.insecula.com/oeuvre/photo_O0012291.html.

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  11. "Colonnes Morris" lead to "fontaines Wallace". Which lead to urinals. I wonder what's next when Eric publishes a nice picture of a "pissotière" ;-)

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  12. Fredb: that's a great idea, seriously. Do they still have them around, these dark green-looking things they had all over Paris back in the 60's and 70's or are they all modern nowadays?

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  13. I imagine the students referred to in the post below at the Chrysalis School in Seattle, Washington will enjoy reading Eric's post today! I bet the instructor hadn't planned on discussing this subject in class!

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  14. Urinals & Napoleon, nice bits of french culture 8-)

    Michael: nice to know some fountains are still active!

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  15. Michael, I bet the students go to the bathroom, too. ;-)

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  16. Eric- beautiful photos and wonderful blog. did you know that we have our own (working) wallace fountain in los angeles, near UCLA campus? I walk past it each day- just realized that I had seen the same a few weeks ago in Paris. A pleasant surprise to learn that we share something so small and graceful with your lovely city!

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  17. >Kauser. No! I could not even imagine there would be a Wallace Fountain in LA?! Thanks for letting us know. If ever you have the chance to take a photo of it and send it to me (blog (at) tenin.com) I will add it somewhere on this post. If you do, please try to include the surrounding so that everyone can see it's in the "new world"!

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  18. Eric - I'd be happy to. I'm afraid the "new world" surroundings are none too lovely, however.

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  19. Dommage que la photo soit un peu surexposé effectivement :(

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