Florianibrunnen Fountain on Alter Markt Square
The Florianibrunnen is a Baroque fountain on the Alter Markt, a square in the Old Town (Altstadt) of Salzburg. Initially, the Alter Markt had a very simple and functional well. In 1488, this well was replaced with a slightly more sophisticated one, which still forms the core of the current Florianibrunnen. This well already used water that was taken from the Gaisberg via pipes that crossed the Salzach River. The way the fountain appears today is the result of a development that span centuries.
The oldest part of the current fountain is the metal fence; it was made by Wolf Guppenberger in 1583. Guppenberger was actually a blacksmith normally working on horseshoes; that he was more skilful than the general locksmith can also be seen in the guild sign at Getreidegasse 33, which he also made (for an inn). The fence of the Florianibrunnen incorporates depictions of horseback riders, animals, plants and coats of arms: The one of Prince Archbishop Johann Jakob von Koen-Belasy, the city of Salzburg and the state of Salzburg.
Baroque Parts of the Florianibrunnen Fountain
The central pillar of the Florianibrunnen dates back to the year 1687. It also displays the coat of arms of the city of Salzburg, who funded its maintenance. The large marble basin of the fountain dates back to 1685/87 and is octagonal. The statue on top of the central pillar is St. Florian, the patron saint that is supposed to protect buildings from fire. For that reason, he was a rather popular saint to put on fountains and wells. The statue is the most recent addition to the Florianibrunnen and was made by Josef Anton Pfaffinger in 1734.
Until around 1800, the Florianibrunnen was the central point for a custom that is not practiced in Salzburg any longer: At the "Metzgersprung", young men who had finished their training as butcher apprentices underwent an initiation ceremony that ended with them jumping into the Florianibrunnen. Symbolically, this washed them clean of their sins. After the bath, they were admitted to the butchers′ guild.
Hidden Treasures of Salzburg
Picture of the Florianibrunnen on the Alter Markt Square