Wallace Fountain in front of Shakespeare and Company
Let's Explore,  Seeing Paris

Find Wallace Fountains Find Paris

Dear Paris Friends, salutationHave you walked around Paris and passed right by a water fountain from 1872 without taking a drink? Did you spend two Euros on a bottle of water instead? The non-profit Society of the Wallace Fountains is working hard to preserve the iconic Wallace fountains. The Paris water department (Eau de Paris) is responsible for their continued functioning. The water source differs throughout Paris. Where I live in the Bastille, ours comes from an aquifer.

The fascinating story and a guidebook with maps and 21 self-guided walks is a great way for to hunt for the fountains. As Barbara Lambesis the author and President of the foundation says, “Find the Wallace Fountains, Find Paris!”. On the website you can download a chart to find the 103 fountains or download each of the 21 walks for a self-guided tour. You can support the foundation when you use the available maps by making a donation of any amount. The book is available at Shakespeare and Company and is small and handy to carry along.

Five fountains await in one small area, if you are starting your Pilgrimage to Saintiago de Compostella at tour de Saint-Jacques, crossing the pont au Change, Ile de la Cité  and the pont Saint-Michel. The fountains operate mid-March to late fall. All public water fountains are found on the Eau de Paris website (Où trouver une fontaine).

Watch the video as Barbara tells the story.

Sir Richard Wallace funded the dark green fountains to blend with the Parisian cityscape. He drew rough sketches, but turned the design over to a Nantes sculpture, Charles-Auguste Lebourg for the final design. The funding and installation was timely and crucial. The Prussian siege of Paris and the ensuing Commune meant lack of clean drinking water to the besieged areas of Paris. The wine flowed; but the water did not. Pick up the book, you will love it for its history, insights and finding Paris you might otherwise not visit! Enjoy!

à bientôt, Colleen signature


This Web site and and its blog articles are for travelers to Paris who are looking for advice from someone who lives in Paris. These tips are "for Parisians at heart". Many people would like to visit, some can and some cannot - so I will help you enjoy a glimpse of the city and its surroundings. This project has been ongoing since 2002. Prior to living in Paris (since 1992) my European history a few decades ago with three years in Wiesbaden, Germany. My next foray onto the Continent was after graduation from the University of Florida (where I met Erik): traveling around Europe and UK with my friend, Margie, hitchhiking around and working in Ireland. After living and working as a journalist in Sweden for four years, traveling on boats, the Trans-Siberian Railway, local trains and planes took Erik and I around the world. In 1990 for American Airlines I began working as a flight attendant, based in Chicago. We moved to Paris, France in 1992 where I commuted between Paris and Chicago for my flight attendant/stewardess job. Finally my inner voice said "Stop!" and I left American Airlines after 20 years. Now that is over and I am back working as a journalist and photographer full time on Colleensparis.com - My videos are posted on YouTube on the colleensparis youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/colleensparis and I am active in Toastmasters. Enjoy!