Caritas Well

Copenhagen, Denmark

The Caritas Well (Caritasbrønden) is the oldest fountain in Copenhagen. It was built in 1608 by Christian IV and is located on Gammeltorv, now part of the Strøget pedestrian zone. It is considered one of the city's finest Renaissance monuments.

The Caritas Well is a result of a relocation and modernization of an older fountain erected by Frederik II. He provided for the construction of a 6km long water tube from Lake Emdrup north of the city to Gammel Torv. The altitude difference being 9 metres, the water pressure was adequate for a fountain to be constructed. Though ornamental in character, the well was also part of the city's water supply system.

The figure group is originally carved in wood by the German wood carver Statius Otto in Elsinore for casts afterwards to be made in bronze. The figures depict the greatest of the three theological virtues love or charity, caritas in latin, symbolized by a pregnant mother with her children. The figures stand on a column in a copper basin. The copper basin is raised above a lower basin on a stone pillar. The woman sprays water from her breasts while her little boy 'pees' into the basin.

On the Queen's birthday, copperballs covered in 24 carat gold, symbolizing golden apples, jump in the fountain. The tradition goes back to the 18th century.



Your name


Founded: 1608
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in Denmark
Historical period: Early Modern Denmark (Denmark)

More Information


4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

N. J. S. (14 months ago)
Beautiful fountain with plenty of benches to sit and wait for your friends to join you before heading off to dinner or a pub for a beer. Plenty of choices for fun and drink in the immediate one to block area.
David Smith (18 months ago)
Oldest fountain in the city, dating back to 1609. Pleasant enough, and have a look if you're passing by, but not worth going out of your way to see.
Danish Khan (19 months ago)
It was good experience but not waooooo. If you are for two days better to skip and go somewhere else but if it’s in your nearby area better to see it.
Maksim Blair (20 months ago)
Great scenic location definitely worth a stop
Pedro Falcon (22 months ago)
PROS: vivid atmosphere 24/7 | perfect meeting point | specially beautiful at night CONS: not recommended for silent lovers
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

La Hougue Bie

La Hougue Bie is a Neolithic ritual site which was in use around 3500 BC. Hougue is a Jèrriais/Norman language word meaning a \'mound\' and comes from the Old Norse word haugr. The site consists of 18.6m long passage chamber covered by a 12.2m high mound. The site was first excavated in 1925 by the Société Jersiaise. Fragments of twenty vase supports were found along with the scattered remains of at least eight individuals. Gravegoods, mostly pottery, were also present. At some time in the past, the site had evidently been entered and ransacked.

In Western Europe, it is one of the largest and best preserved passage graves and the most impressive and best preserved monument of Armorican Passage Grave group. Although they are termed \'passage graves\', they were ceremonial sites, whose function was more similar to churches or cathedrals, where burials were incidental.