These three magnificently decorated and intricately carved renaissance fountains grace the length of Augsburg’s Maximilianstrasse. They build a triad that symbolizes the three estates of a Free Imperial City: masters, merchants and craftsmen.
The Augustus Fountain was erected in 1594 to commemorate the city’s 1600th birthday and to honor its Roman founder. It is based on designed by Hubert Gerhard and is located in front of the Town Hall. The four figures at the base of the fountain symbolize Augsburg’s abundant water supply and represent its four rivers: the Lech with an oar, the Wertach with a water mill, the Singold with a cornucopia and the Brunnenbach with a fishnet.
From 1596-1599 the Dutch sculptor Adriaen de Vries worked on the creation of the Mercury Fountain, which stands on Moritzplatz. The portrayal of Mercury, god of commerce, is an allegory for Augsburg’s importance as a trade center. He wears a winged helmet and in his right hand holds a serpent-entwined staff—a symbol of happiness and peace.
The Hercules Fountain stands directly in front of the Schaezler Palace and is likewise the work of Adriaen de Vries. The sculpture (created between 1597-1600) symbolizes craftsmanship; that as Hercules made use of the power of fire to subjugate the force of water, the innovative power of the human spirit can be used to tame and utilize the forces of nature.
Due to damage through environmental influence, the original bronze castings have been replaced with copies. The restored originals are in the covered inner courtyard of the Maximilian Museum.