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Berne
Places to Visit in Berne, Switzerland
Kindlifresserbrunnen
One of Europe most famous (some would say infamous) fountains is the Ogre Fountain, the Kindlifresserbrunnen (German for Child Eater Fountain), in Bern, Switzerland, that depicts an ogre devouring a naked child and holding a bag of other terrified children. It was built in 1544 as a replacement for a wooden well by Hans Gieng who created most of the public fountains of Bern that were erected during the Renaissance.There are numerous theories about Gieng inspiration for using such a grisly motif. Some believe the ogre is a depiction of the Greek god Cronus who ate his own children in order to thwart a prophecy that he would be overthrown by one of his sons, while others believe it harks back to fairy tales such as Hansel and Gretel and was built to frighten disobedient children or simply to keep them away from an area which once featured a deep ditch which was dangerous to children.
However, a darker theory persists, namely that it is an expression of antiSemitism and blood libel, the belief that Jews murdered children and used their blood in religious rituals. This speculation is based on the argument that the ogre pointed hat resembles a Jewish hat and that the fountain originally was painted yellow, the color used to vilify Jews during medieval times. Whatever the original inspiration, the Ogre Fountain is a major tourist attraction today. (Sources Public Art Around the World and Wikipedia Kindlifresserbrunnen.)


Church of the Holy Ghost
Historical Museum of Bern
Natural History Museum of Bern
Zentrum Paul Klee
Moossee
Bern
Kafigturm
Zytglogge

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