Bethesda Fountain

Bethesda Fountain (123)

Bethesda Fountain is one of the most famous fountains in the world, considered by many the jewel in the crown of Central Park. 

Located in the heart of the park, right in the lower level of Bethesda Terrace, this fountain was erected in 1873 in honour of the sailors who died at sea during the American Civil War.

The centre piece of the fountain – a neoclassical winged figure – was designed in 1868 by the artist Emma Stebbins. With this sculpture, Emma Stebbins became the first woman who was publicly committed to create a great work of art in the city of New York.

Dubbed "Angel of the Waters", this bronze figure is named after the biblical fountain of Jerusalem that appears in chapter 5 of the Gospel of John. A fountain to which an angel had conferred healing powers, according to legend. That is why the angel in front of you holds a lily in one hand, a symbol of purity, and blesses the water that falls under it with the other.

The base of the fountain also deserves special attention. Designed by architect Calvert Vaux, with sculptural details by Jacob Wrey Moho, four cherubim representing four universal values; Temperance, Purity, Health and Peace, rest on it. 

It is such a beautiful spot that it has been the setting of many movies and series; here Mel Gibson's son is being kidnapped in Ransom; it turns into a big party in the movie Enchanted; or George Clooney, Michelle Pfeiffer and their children splash in the fountain's puddles in One Fine Day, as it also appears in Sex and the City and Gossip Girl. Once you have returned from your trip to New York you will still see it in a lot more films, but you can already say that you were there. 

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