24.2.17

Athena springing from head of Zeus by Karl Donndorf

Athena springing from head of Zeus

The Athenebrunnen (also known as Pallas-Athene-Fountain) is a fountain named after the goddess Athene at the Jean-Amery-Weg at the Karlshöhe in Stuttgart-West. It was created in 1911 by the sculptor Karl Donndorf (1870-1941). The well-known fountain has been fully functional since the year 2011.



Statue know as "Pallas Athena Brunnen" by Karl Donndorf, 1911 - at the Athenebrunnen, Stuttgart

At the center of the neoclassical fountain is the antique statue of the goddess Athena at the moment of her birth. According to Greek mythology, she stepped out of the head of her father Zeus in full armor and armament. The stone Athene figure carries a metal shield and a spear next to the chest and helmets. Only the head is represented by Zeus; it serves the statue as a pedestal.

Under Athene statue and Zeus head lie two stairwells like a staircase. Beside the lower basin, the stone figure of Prometheus can be seen on the right hand of Athena. To their left is the figure of the Pandora with the famous rifle on his lap.
The fountain was formerly part of the park of the industrialist Gustav Siegle (1840-1905), built in 1870. The widow Julie had the fountain built in 1911 by the sculptor Karl Donndorf on the northern slope of the Karlshöhe in a neoclassical style, in the park above the Villa Siegle.
In the Second World War, the entire park was heavily affected. Thus the villa was destroyed in 1944 and the ruin in 1953 broken off. Also the summer house was demolished in 1961 and replaced. The Athenebrunnen also fell into disrepair. In 1989, the Beauties Association Stuttgart, a large part of the Karlshöhe, had the wells and figures restored. "On the occasion of the 150th anniversary in 2011, the Beautification Association Stuttgart has restored the figures Athene, Pandora, Prometheus and the Zeus head and restored the well system". The fountain has been fully functional since then.

The figure of the Athene offers clear references to the family Siegle. Athene, in addition to her role as the author and patroness of Athens, is the goddess of wisdom and the patron of the arts and sciences. Also Gustav and Julie Siegle were generous sponsors of cultural, social and scientific purposes. It is not only the first hospital in Feuerbach dating back to 1893, but also the Gustav-Siegle-Haus in Stuttgart from 1912, which was used for popular education.
At the same time, however, the well system also points to the duality of all human strivings for knowledge. Thus Prometheus, according to Greek mythology, brought man (besides other good ones) the fire - and was punished cruelly by Zeus. Pandora, on the other hand, brought mankind all ills - and, besides, only the hope of improvement. 
The sculptor Karl Donndorf took up the ambivalence of good and evil three times later in 1914 in another work - in the allegories of joy and suffering at the fate of the fountain in Stuttgart. 




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