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.

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Founded: 1608
Category:
Historical period: Early Modern Denmark (Denmark)

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en.wikipedia.org

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4.1/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Arun Kumar (4 months ago)
Caritas fountain is also called Caritas Well . This made in 2608 by Christian 4 and is located on Gammeltorv. This place is known for Golden apples jumping on the birthday day of the birthday of Denmark Queen. This is now a part of pedestrian zone here
Carol Chiang (5 months ago)
Christmas market had lot of food
Claes Thomsen (5 months ago)
Boring place
李小乐 (8 months ago)
Really beautiful and scenic.
Ross Armour (11 months ago)
Very pretty park with nice walks around with statues, swans, bridges, fountains and the like. Very scenic and pretty. It is also home to the little mermaid statue which unfortunately constantly has a crowd around it waiting to get pictures with it. If you wait you will get a good picture but you might have to wait a while. The rest of the park however is clean and pretty in all seasons but especially summer.
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Porta Nigra

The Porta Nigra (Latin for black gate) is the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps. It is designated as part of the Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St. Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name Porta Nigra originated in the Middle Ages due to the darkened colour of its stone; the original Roman name has not been preserved. Locals commonly refer to the Porta Nigra simply as Porta.

The Porta Nigra was built in grey sandstone between 186 and 200 AD. The original gate consisted of two four-storied towers, projecting as near semicircles on the outer side. A narrow courtyard separated the two gate openings on either side. For unknown reasons, however, the construction of the gate remained unfinished. For example, the stones at the northern (outer) side of the gate were never abraded, and the protruding stones would have made it impossible to install movable gates. Nonetheless, the gate was used for several centuries until the end of the Roman era in Trier.

In Roman times, the Porta Nigra was part of a system of four city gates, one of which stood at each side of the roughly rectangular Roman city. The Porta Nigra guarded the northern entry to the Roman city, while the Porta Alba (White Gate) was built in the east, the Porta Media (Middle Gate) in the south, and the Porta Inclyta (Famous Gate) in the west, next to the Roman bridge across the Moselle. The gates stood at the ends of the two main streets of the Roman Trier, one of which led north-south and the other east-west. Of these gates, only the Porta Nigra still exists today.

In the early Middle Ages the Roman city gates were no longer used for their original function and their stones were taken and reused for other buildings. Also iron and lead braces were broken out of the walls of the Porta Nigra for reuse. Traces of this destruction are still clearly visible on the north side of the gate.

After 1028, the Greek monk Simeon lived as a hermit in the ruins of the Porta Nigra. After his death (1035) and sanctification, the Simeonstift monastery was built next to the Porta Nigra to honor him. Saving it from further destruction, the Porta Nigra was transformed into a church: The inner court of the gate was roofed and intermediate ceilings were inserted. The two middle storeys of the former gate were converted into church naves: the upper storey being for the monks and the lower storey for the general public. The ground floor with the large gates was sealed, and a large outside staircase was constructed alongside the south side (the town side) of the gate, up to the lower storey of the church. A small staircase led further up to the upper storey. The church rooms were accessible through former windows of the western tower of the Porta Nigra that were enlarged to become entrance doors (still visible today). The top floor of the western tower was used as church tower, the eastern tower was leveled, and an apse added at its east side. An additional gate - the much smaller Simeon Gate - was built adjacent to the East side of the Porta Nigra and served as a city gate in medieval times.

In 1802 Napoleon Bonaparte dissolved the church in the Porta Nigra and the monastery beside it, along with the vast majority of Trier"s numerous churches and monasteries. On his visit to Trier in 1804, Napoleon ordered that the Porta Nigra be converted back to its Roman form. Only the apse was kept; but the eastern tower was not rebuilt to its original height. Local legend has it that Napoleon originally wanted to completely tear down the church, but locals convinced him that the church had actually been a Gaulish festival hall before being turned into a church. Another version of the story is that they told him about its Roman origins, persuading him to convert the gate back to its original form.

In 1986 the Porta Nigra was designated a World Heritage Site, along with other Roman monuments in Trier and its surroundings. The modern appearance of the Porta Nigra goes back almost unchanged to the reconstruction ordered by Napoleon. At the south side of the Porta Nigra, remains of Roman columns line the last 100 m of the street leading to the gate. Positioned where they had stood in Roman times, they give a slight impression of the aspect of the original Roman street that was lined with colonnades. The Porta Nigra, including the upper floors, is open to visitors.