Fontana Pretoria (1554-55) - the Fountain of Shame

Fontana Pretoria, Fountain of Shame, Piazza Pretoria

Fontana Pretoria (1554-55), also known as the Fountain of Shame on Piazza Pretoria near the Quattro Canti intersection in Palermo. Goethe was appalled when he visited Palermo in 1787. Occationally the gates are opened so that the visitors can wander freely around among the more or less grotesque sculptures.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

Fontana Pretoria, Palermo. Elephant

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

The High Renaissance fountain (1554–5) on Piazza Pretoria is designed by Francesco Camilliani, but it was not assembled and enlarged before 1573. The basin is decorated with more than 50 statues of all kinds of animals, monsters, harpies, sirens and tritons. The Palermitans call it Fontana della Vergogna (Fountain of Shame). Goethe visited Sicily in 1787, and was appalled when he saw the fountain, and even more appalled when he later visited Villa Palagonia in Bagheria.

 

 

Fontana Pretoria, Palermo

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

 

Fontana Pretoria, Palermo

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

Fontana Pretoria, Palermo

Relief at Fontana Pretoria in Palermo.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

 

Sicily

Fontana Pretoria, Palermo (relief).

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

Fontana Pretoria, Palermo

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

 

Fountain of Shame, Palermo

Man resting at the Fountain of Shame.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily