Kaiser Wilhelm II Fountain, Istanbul


Constantinople
Fontaine de l’empereur Guillaume II.
Kaiser Wilhelm-Brunnen
[Fountaine of Kaiser Wilhelm II]
c.1910

Google Street View.

It’s nice when friends stop by and pay a visit. This, in part, was the thinking behind the construction of the commemorative Kaiser Wilhelm Fountain in Istanbul. But the fountain is a symbol of much more significant events in Turkey’s past. The fountain was built in 1900 to celebrate the second anniversary of German Kaiser Wilhelm’s visit to Turkey and sits at the far end of Sultanahmet Square in the heart of the Old City. It’s constructed in the neo-Byzantine style, with marble columns and a dome whose interior is lined with golden mosaic tiles. It’s a small but lasting tribute to an alliance that both countries would probably rather forget. . . . The Ottoman Empire’s alliance with Germany and subsequent loss in World War I pretty much spelled the end for the Sultan and his friends, but this fountain still stands as a testament to their doomed alliance. With friends like these, who needs enemies?
Atlas Obscura

The German Fountain is a gazebo styled fountain in the northern end of old hippodrome (Sultanahmet Square), Istanbul, Turkey and across from the Mausoleum of Sultan Ahmed I. It was constructed to commemorate the second anniversary of German Emperor Wilhelm II’s visit to Istanbul in 1898. It was built in Germany, then transported piece by piece and assembled in its current site in 1900. . . . During his reign as German Emperor and King of Prussia, Wilhelm II visited several European and Eastern countries. His trip started in Istanbul, Ottoman Empire on 18 October 1898 during the reign of Abdülhamid II. . . .The Emperor’s primary motivation for visiting was to construct the Baghdad Railway, which would run from Berlin to the Persian Gulf, and would further connect to British India through Persia. This railway could provide a short and quick route from Europe to Asia, and could carry German exports, troops and artillery. At the time, the Ottoman Empire could not afford such a railway, and Abdülhamid II was grateful to Wilhelm’s offer, but was suspicious over the German motives.
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The neo-Byzantine style octagonal fountain stands on a base with eight steps rising up to an entry gate. There are seven brass fountain spouts over basins on the remaining sides, and over the central reservoir there is a dome supported by eight porphyry columns. The fountain’s central reservoir stands on a mosaic-tiled platform and surmounted with the bronze dome, which is raised on carved marble arches. There are eight monograms in the arch stonework and they represent the political union of Abdülhamid II and Wilhelm. In four of these medallions, Abdülhamid II’s tughra is written on green background, and in other four Wilhelm’s symbol “W” is written on a Prussian blue background. Also, over “W” there is a crown and below it a “II” is written. The fountain was surrounded with a bronze fence, but unfortunately this has been lost. The outside of the dome is ornately patterned bronze; the dome’s ceiling is decorated with golden mosaics and again with Abdülhamid II’s tughra and Wilhelm II’s symbol.
Wikipedia.

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