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Justitia is back on the Römerberg

12.10.2018 | 09:01 Clock | Citywhispers
Justitia is back on the Römerberg

For a long time, visitors to the Römerberg had to stare at an empty fountain, but now that's over: one of Frankfurt's most photographed landmarks, the Justitia, has returned to the Fountain of Justice.

Mayor Peter Feldmann and Head of Culture Dr. Ina Hartwig received the refurbished figure together with the "Friends of Frankfurt" association on the Römerberg on Wednesday. "Our Fountain of Justice is known far beyond the city limits. Worldwide, it is also one of the few fountains dedicated to the goddess of justice. The Justitia not only fits into past times, it fits into our present democracy and our sense of the rule of law," said Peter Feldmann, expressing his delight at the return of the landmark.

Last year, the figure of Justice was dismantled and received a preservative wax treatment. Head of Culture Dr Ina Hartwig says: "I am delighted that our Justitita can once again be seen in the heart of the city on the Fountain of Justice. The symbolic figure completes the design of our new old town. On behalf of the City of Frankfurt, I would like to sincerely thank the ‚Friends of Frankfurt' association for its commitment to the cultural heritage of our city for more than 90 years and for helping to restore the Justitita to its former glory thanks to numerous donations. This civic commitment distinguishes our city and we are grateful that the association contributes to the preservation of significant monuments in the city."

Thanks to the support of the "Friends of Frankfurt" association, the Justitia was able to be reworked in a manner befitting a monument: "The Justitia is a landmark of the city of Frankfurt, the preservation of which is very close to the association's heart. It is an example of artistically and technically excellent sculpture and applied art of the late 19th century. Thanks to numerous donations, the association was able to make possible the restoration of the Justitia in keeping with its status as a monument and to contribute to preserving this cultural and historical heritage for the future."

The Frankfurt Justitia looks back on an eventful history. In 1543, Frankfurt's first tube/spring fountain was erected on the Römerberg. The sandstone parapet is still partly from the year of construction, 1542. In 1610, the fountain was redesigned and given its current appearance: a stone fountain stand with a Justitia. Two years later, for the coronation of Emperor Matthias, red and white wine flowed from specially attached eagle and lion heads. In their enthusiasm for serving wine, the people of Frankfurt so battered the fountain that the city's magistrate had an additional fountain erected as a wine dispenser for the coronation of Emperor Ferdinand II in 1619.

1863, the Fountain of Justice was in such a desolate state that it disappeared under cascades of flowers for the German Princes' Day, and later it was hidden under a stand of boards. The Justitia was robbed of its scales more than once, and in 1874 it was itself so battered that it was removed. In 1887 a donation from the wine merchant Gustav Dominikus Manskopf made it possible to renew the figure. The ornamental lattice with the gilded city eagles, which still exists today, was made by Alexander Linnemann in 1887.

The fountain and the figure were largely spared from the bombardment of the Second World War. From 1945 to 1947 the Justitia stood in the rooms of the military government, which resided in the building of the metal company at the Reuterweg. In 1970 it moved again - due to the construction of the underground railway and the underground car park, the ensemble was dismantled and rebuilt after completion of the work only a few metres away from its original location. In 2007, the fountain bowl and figure were restored. A notable detail of the Frankfurt Justitia is the absence of the usual blindfold

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