While Brussels is proud of one urinating boy, Manneken Pis, Bratislava has four.

The fountain marking the first coronation in the city will get back its Renaissance look.

Maximilian Fountain in Bratislava Maximilian Fountain in Bratislava (Source: TASR)

The Maximilian Fountain on the Main Square of the Slovak capital, also known as Roland Fountain, will have its Renaissance look again. Not only will it be rid of the inappropriate modern stone ring, but the fountain’s urinating boys will return.

“We have been thinking for a long time about removing the ring that was added to the fountain during the reconstruction of the square in 2005,” said Ivo Štassel, director of the Municipal Institute of Monuments Protection in Bratislava, which initiated the reconstruction of the fountain. “Now, space has been created, both in terms of finances and labour, to rebuild the fountain and return its authentic form as much as possible.”

Work on the fountain will be carried out in two phases, with the expected end date in the spring of this year. The price will be about €180,000, stated Iveta Kešeľáková from the press department of the Bratislava City Council.

The restoration work will be carried out by sculptor Vladimír Višváder. During the restoration, all water pipes will be replaced and the water tank will be fitted with colourful illumination to be used on festive occasions. The city promises that all work will be under the supervision of the Regional Monument Office in Bratislava.

The fountain recalls its first coronation

Maximilian Fountain is the oldest fountain in the city. It was sculpted from sandstone by stonemason Ondrej Luttringer from the Austrian village of Deutsch Altenburg in 1572.

“It was a bit of a delayed gift by Maximilian II, because during his coronation - the first that took place in then Pressburg - a fire broke out in which a large majority of the city’s houses was burned,” said Štassel.

The monarch gave the city a fountain that reminded the city of this exceptional event but at the same time fulfilled a practical function. Housekeepers took water for their households from the tank, and it also served as a reservoir of extinguishing water during fires.

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