The Wallace Fountain, in Color

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The Wallace Fountain, in Color

If you have visited Paris, you will have seen the ubiquitous Wallace Fountain standing in every park, and many a corner. You will have read about the history of the fountains on Bonjour Paris, you might even know that apart from the classical version with four caryatids holding the roof, there are also versions with plain columns, and smaller fountains mounted on walls, or miniature fountains in parks. But all versions are always held in the elegant, and unobtrusive, British Racing Green color. Or are they?

In the 13th arrondissement, an area not necessarily high on the agenda of visitors, but popular with students, home to one of the city’s Chinatowns, and a haven for street art with gigantic murals covering entire apartment blocks, the council decided to liven things up a little.

Rue Avenue d’Ivry. Photo: Ulrike Lemmin-Woolfrey

In Chinatown, along Avenue d’Ivry, you’ll find a bright red model. The red color probably chosen because it is a lucky color in China.

Rue Jean-Anouilh. Photo: Ulrike Lemmin-Woolfrey

Between the RER and Metro station Bibliotheque François Mitterand and the river, you can find a shocking pink version on Rue Jean-Anouilh, whereas nearby, nestled in amongst university buildings on Esplanade Pierre-Vidal-Naquet stands a vivid yellow example.

A yellow version amongst university buildings on Esplanade Pierre-Vidal-Naquet. Photo: Ulrike Lemmin-Woolfrey

Further in the heart of the 13th arrondissement, you will also find a beautiful blue fountain, on Rue Brillat-Savarin.

There was once, briefly, a white Wallace Fountain in the 3rd arrondissement, on the Passage au Pont aux Biches, but I have a feeling that was due to a private artistic endeavor, rather than a council decision, and it has now been returned to the traditional dark green color. Shame really.

Have you spotted any other colors around the city? Which one is your favorite?

Rue Brillat-Savarin. Photo: Ulrike Lemmin-Woolfrey

Lead photo credit : A columned version on Avenue des Ternes, 17th arrondissement. Photo: Ulrike Lemmin-Woolfrey

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Originally from Germany, Ulrike is a freelance journalist who's worked in Oman, the UAE, and Australia for publications like CNN Travel, The Telegraph, The LA Times, and The Australian. She is now based in one of her favorite cities in the world: Paris. She is the author of 'MOON LIVING ABROAD IN AUSTRALIA' plus "Sydney & the Great Barrier Reef," and Spotlight Sydney, published by Moon travel books.


  • Wilhelmina Easton
    2020-01-09 23:55:15
    Wilhelmina Easton
    Always a treat to read but it would be helpful and so welcome to have the actual street addresses... nor just the arrondissement. Time is precious when looking for a special site.. Much thanks, well done!


  • Kate Woodman
    2019-06-28 14:30:58
    Kate Woodman
    Wonderful article! Are you familiar with the new Society of the Wallace Fountains and its website, The Society's mission is to promote, preserve and protect the Wallace Fountains of Paris. One of the founders of the Society, Barbara Lambesis, has written a book about the fountains (Find the Wallace Fountains Find Paris) in English and French which includes 21 self-guided walks through which to discover all 103 Wallace Fountains in Paris. The walks are also available on the website. Also there is currently an exhibit at Pavillon de l'Eau (Water in Paris from the 19th to the 21st Century) in the 16th arrondissement which features the Wallace Fountains in conjunction with the bi-centenary of the birth of Sir Richard Wallace. I love the Wallace Fountains and am pleased to see them getting recognition!


  • Hazel Smith
    2018-10-23 09:04:56
    Hazel Smith
    How about instead of British Racing Green, we call it Wallace Fountain Green? I originally thought this was a travesty. But looking at large numbers of them on the map that Anna linked us to I supposed a few of them could be sacrificed to the rainbow.


  • Anna Eklund-Cheong
    2018-10-19 07:18:58
    Anna Eklund-Cheong
    And here's a map (Carte des Fontaines) to every single one, courtesy of the Paris water company, L'Eau de Paris, just expand the map on your screen to see placements in detail:


  • Ulrike Lemmin-Woolfrey
    2018-05-16 03:31:41
    Ulrike Lemmin-Woolfrey
    Hi Karen, yes, these are potable water fountains. Perfect for filling up your water bottle on the go.


  • Karen Mullens
    2018-05-03 17:21:43
    Karen Mullens
    Are these fresh water taps for public consumption?


  • Jane Wells
    2018-05-03 12:51:58
    Jane Wells
    This is a delightful issue - loved the article about the fountains. Also really wise advice in the article for first-time Paris visitors! Always a fun read!