The 1915 Fountain
The fountain was erected in 1910-1915 after the design and with sculptures by Franz Brantzky. It consisted of a double column with a statue of the she-wolf and between the both column relief portraits of six Roman emperors. Surrounding the column was a semicircular wall with nine reliefs with scenes from life in the Roman town of Cologne.
On the back side of the wall are two reliefs stones with each three portraits of emperors. Also a text stone was present with the text:
- Geburt der Agrippina / Agrippina's birth
- Krieg / War
- Städtebau / Town building
- Gladiatore und Tierkämpfe / Gladiators and Animal fights
- Recht / Justice
- Rassenmischung / Miscegenation
- Kunst und Wissenschaft / Art and Sciences
- Fest der Isis / Feast of Isis
AUF DEN FUNDAMENTEN D. ROEMISCHEN NORDMAUER ERRICHTETE DER COELNER VERSCHOENERUNGSVEREIN DIESES DENKMAL IM JAHRE 1915 ZUR ERINNERUNG AN DIE GRUENDUNG DER COLONIA CLAUDIA AUGUSTA AGRIPPINENS I. JAHRE 50 NACH CHRISTUS.
On the foundations of the Roman north wall the Kölner Verschönerungsverein erected this monument in 1915 in memory of the foundation of the Colonia Claudia Augusta Agrippinensi in the year 50 after Christ.
Above the nine reliefs was the quote about the foundation of the town from Tacitus (Annales XII, 27, 1):
Sed Agrippina quo vim suam sociis quoque nationibus ostentaret in oppidum Vbiorum, in quo genita erat, veteranos coloniamque deduci impetrat, cui nomen inditum e vocabulo ipsius. Ac forte acciderat ut eam gentem Rhenum transgressam avus Agrippa in fidem accideret.
This monument was almost completely destroyed in World War II.
(Agrippina, to show her power even to the allied nations, procured the despatch of a
colony of veterans to the chief town of the Ubii, where she was born. The place was named
after her. Agrippa, her grandfather, had, as it happened, received this tribe, when they crossed
the Rhine, under our protection.
The 1955 Reconstruction
In 1955 the monument was reconstructed in a different way by Karl Band in 1955, making use of the preserved parts: three of the reliefs were completely destroyed, one was heavily damages. In the present monument there are only six reliefs. These reliefs, and the portrait reliefs of the emperors are now placed in a brick wall resembling the old Roman city wall with a semicircular part. In the semicircular part stands the double column with a statue of a she-wolf.
On the left part are portrait reliefs, first the six separate portraits which were originally on the double-column with the wolf:
On the semicircular and right part of the wall are six of the nine reliefs showing scenes from life in Roman Cologne. the first, third and fourth are lost, Tacitus' quote is therefore incomplete):
The 'founders' of Cologne:
- avgvstvs Augustus (63 BC - 14 AD), founder of the Roman Empire and its first Emperor, 27 BC-14AD. (Wikipedia)
- agrippi[na] Julia Agrippina (15/16-59), Roman Empress
- clavdivs Claudius (10 BC - 54 AD), Roman Emperor, 41-54
Three emperors from the 2nd century, the heyday of the Roman Empire:
- [traian] Traianus / Trajan (53-117 AD), Roman Emperor 98-117
- hadrian Hadrianus / Hadrian (76-138 AD), Roman Emperor 117-138
- antoni[nus] Antoninus Pius (86-161 AD), Roman Emperor 138-161
From the backside of the wall two stones with each three portraits of emperors from the 3rd and 4th centuries:
- One relief with three portraits:
- alex. severvs Severus Alexander (208-235), Roman Emperor 222-235
- maximinvs Maximinus Thrax (c. 173-238), Roman Emperor 235-238
- postvmvs Postumus (260-268), Roman commander of provincial origin who ruled as emperor in the west, 259-268
- One relief with three portraits:
- constantin Konstantin der Große / Constantin the Great (c. 285-337), Roman Emperor from 306 to 337
- [helena] St. Helena (c. 250-c. 330), the consort of the Roman Emperor Constantius Chlorus and the mother of Emperor Constantine the Great
- theodosi[vs] Theodosius I (347-395), Roman Emperor 379-395
|sociis qvoqve nationibvs osten
Krieg / War
A Roman soldier on a horse fights with a Germanic warrior
|qve dedvci impetrat cvi nomen
Recht / Justice
The governor of Germania inferior, residing in Cologne, and his staff at a court hearing
|inditvm e vocabvlo ipsivs ac
Rassenmischung / Miscegenation
A Roman soldier says goodbye to his German wife and children.
|forte acciderat vt eam gen
Kunst und Wissenschaft / Art and Sciences
Minerva (left) accompanied by Architecture (center, with temple model), Sculpture/Painting (women standing next Minerva), Philosophy (old man) and Music (woman with lyra)
|tem rheno transgressam a
Left a Christian baptism; right a pagan animal sacrifice
|vvs agrippa in fidem accideret
Fest der Isis / Feast of Isis
Kölner Verschönerungsverein, 1910/1915
- Franz Brantzky (Köln 1871 - Dinkelsbühl 1945),
German architect, sculptor and painter
Sources & Information
- Köln-Tourismus, Denkmäler & Brunnen in Köln.
- Wikipedia, Kölner Brunnen.
- Peter Noelke & Stefanie Lieb, Der Kölner Römerbrunnen von Franz Brantzky (1910 - 1915) und seine Neugestaltung durch Karl Band (1954 - 1955). Wallraf-Richartz-Jahrbuch 53 (1992), S. 223-268 : 37 Ill., 1 Kt.
Location (N 50°56'28" - E 6°57'4")
Item Code: denw524; Photograph: 14 May 2016
Of each statue we made photos from various angles and also detail photos of the various texts.
If you want to use photos, please contact us via the contact form (in Dutch, English or German).
© Website and photos: René & Peter van der Krogt