‘The Market and Frauenkirche Square, Nuremberg, Germany’
Keystone View Company
The Neptune fountain seen to the left is in fact a copy. The original was made in Nuremberg in 1668. It was the largest Baroque fountain north of the Alps. The fountain was sold to Tsar Paul I in 1799 and shipped off to St. Petersburg. By the end of the 19th century the people of Nuremberg decided that they wanted it back but Tsar Alexander III refused to sell. A cast of the original was taken and the replica fountain was placed in the marketplace in the centre of Nuremberg. During the Third Reich the fountain was seen both as an impediment to Nazi rallies in the square and a stain on the ‘pure’ Gothic architecture of the city centre. Upon Hitler’s orders it was moved outside the city centre. In a bizarre twist of fate, the original was looted by the Wehrmacht from St. Petersburg, brought back to Nuremberg and stashed away in an underground vault. After the war the original fountain was returned to the USSR. The copy can be seen today in Nuremberg city park. The market place was completely destroyed during an air-raid in 1945.