The Athena Fountain (Pallas-Athene-Brunnen)

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The Athena Fountain (Pallas-Athene-Brunnen) ( 480x640 )
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The Athena Fountain (Pallas-Athene-Brunnen) is situated in front of the building of Austrian Parliament on Ringstrasse. It is a monumental fountain with a marble statue of the goddess Pallas Athena (the Greek goddess of wisdom) dominating it. Athena is flanked by statues of horse breaking. It was erected between 1893 and 1902. The 4m/13ft high figure of Pallas Athene with gilded helmet and armed with a lance is the work of the sculptor Carl Kundmann with the help of Josef Tautenhayn, and Hugo Haerdlt, based on the plans by Baron von Hansen. In the middle there is a water-basin and a richly decorated base. The four lying figures at the foot of Athena are allegorical representations of the four most important rivers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (the Danube, the Inn, the Elbe and the Moldau (Vltava)). There are two more four-river fountains in Vienna (but not showing the same rivers). The female statues above represent the legislative and executive powers of the state. The statues are made of marble from Laas, while the superstructure and the basin are of granite.

The Pallas Athena statue has recently been restored, as part of the restoration of the Parliament, its ramp and facade. It is a fine statue and looks even better now that it has been cleaned up and restored.

The fountain is being flanked by two steel flagpoles (approx. 30 m high). The red-white-and-red flag of Austria is hoisted on the flagpoles whenever the National Council, the Federal Council or the Federal Assembly are in session.
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