Place Gaillon

Fontaine Gaillon by Visconti
Fontaine Gaillon by Visconti

La Fontaine Gaillon is for many the name of an excellent restaurant owned since 2003 by the actor Gérard Depardieu.

We don’t review restaurants, but we can tell you that you need to book in advance, as it is quite popular!

However, La Fontaine Gaillon is above all a beautiful fountain built in 1827 by the architect Louis Tullius Joachim Visconti.

It is located on the small Place Gaillon.

It’s also opposite the restaurant Drouant, where the jury of the renowned Goncourt and Renaudot literary prices regularly meet.

Fontaine Gaillon, a work of Visconti

La Fontaine Gaillon replaces the first fountain built in 1707 by Jean Beausire, the architect of King Louis XIV.

The Fontaine Louis le Grand had been named in honour of the Sun King.

The fountain and the mansion it flanked were pulled down in the early 19th century.

Visconti replaced it with the current fountain.

Fontaine Gaillon and restaurant
Fontaine Gaillon and restaurant

This fountain is entirely made from white marble and is decorated with arabesques and garlands.

It consists of two basins, a large basin on the lower level and a small upper basin topped with a sculptural group.

The sculptor Georges Jacquot represented a Triton riding a dolphin and holding a trident – Jeune triton chevauchant sur un dauphin.

These basins stand in front of a large alcove framed by a portico supported by two elegant Doric columns.

The portico’s pediment is engraved with a dedication in Latin:Pristinum fontem, angustiori area amplificata
Communi utilitati Urbis que ornemento
Majus restituerunt proefectus et aediles

La Fontaine Gaillon was damaged during the Revolution of 1830 but restored in 1900.

Emmanuel Oberdoerffer, the architect of the City of Paris, looked over the latest restoration that took place in 1971.

Directions: 2nd district – Place Gaillon
Metro: Quatre-Septembre on Line 3
Coordinates: Lat 48.868995 – Long 2.334308

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