Discover Friesland’s 11 fountains

July 23, 2018

Friesland unveiled 11 permanent new fountains in 11 cities. The fountains are a legacy project of the European Capital of Culture 2018 and have been designed by international artists. The idea stemmed from the province having a water dominated landscape.

  • The Ice Fountain by Birthe Leemeijer, Dokkum. The extent to which the fountain makes ice depends on the amount of green energy generated via solar panels. The more sunshine, the more ice is produced.
  • Peewit by Lucy & Jorge Orta, Sloten. It shows a girl standing on the shoulders of a man that has a dishevelled pile of containers under his feet, reflecting the fact that our society has abundant access to water - the source of all life.
  • The Oort Cloud by Jean-Michel Othoniel, Franeker. An ode to the astronomer Jan Hendrik Oort, born in Franeker. The fountain is designed as a series of waterfalls flowing into the water basin from a bowl, along a vertical chain of night-coloured pearls.
  • The Fish Fountain for Stavoren by Mark Dion, Stavoren. Fish and fish trade are engraved in the history and identity of Stavoren. But this once dominant economic position now only lives on in stories and myths, the fountain represents a new chapter.
  • The Bat by Johan Creten, Bolsward. Bats symbolise both dark forces and a positive, saving force - think of Batman, where bats keep the demons at bay.
  • The Whale by Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla, Harlingen. The fountain is a lifelike sperm whale. He lies as if he is lost in the Zuiderpier, but his powerful water jet proves that he is still alive.
  • Flora and Fauna by Shen Yuan, Hindeloopen. The city coat of arms, with its tree of life, with the deer and the doe surrounding it, is the source of inspiration for the fountain. The tree symbolises the energy of life, but also stands for wisdom. The deer and the doe feed on this.
  • Fortuna’s Fountain by Stephan Balkenhol, Sneek. A man with a Horn of Plenty stands on a golden ball in the middle of the water. The overflowing horn symbolises the material well-being of all the happy people who come into contact with it.
  • Love by Jaume Plensa, Leeuwarden. ‘Love’ consists of two 7 meter high, white sculptures of a boy and a girl. Their faces are turned towards each other, with closed eyes and a serene expression. “They are dreaming,” says Plensa. “For children, the future is a dream full of promises.”
  • The Rampant Lions of Workum, by Cornelia Parker, Workum. For centuries Workum’s city arms have been supported by two lions. They are protagonists spraying water at each other from a distance like fierce fighting cats.
  • Immortal Flowers – Rikka by Shinji Ohmaki, Ijlst. The fountain connects flowering stinzen plants as an element of Frisian nature with Ikebana, an old form of Japanese flower arrangement. It symbolises the eternal union between man, culture and nature.