The German Fountain is a fountain built during the reign of Abdülhamit II as a gift from the German Emperor Wilhellm II to the Sultan. It was first built in Germany and then brought to Istanbul by ship, its parts were assembled and it took its place in the Horse Square next to the Blue Mosque.
Wilhelm II came to Istanbul several times. He sold German rifles to the Ottoman army and was promised that the Baghdad Railroad would be built by German companies. The German government built the German Fountain as a reward for these good deeds. Sultanahmet Square was chosen for the installation of the fountain and the Germans were responsible for the arrangement of the area, the pipelines and the installation of the fountain.
Unlike standard Ottoman fountains, the fountain sits on a high base and under the dome you can see the tughra of Abdulhamid II on green and the symbol of Wilhelm II, the letter W and the symbol II on navy blue. Since the fountain has an octagonal plan, each motif is embroidered four times on gold color.
The bronze inscription of the fountain is also in German. The Turkish meaning of this inscription, which gives information about when and for what purpose the fountain was built, is as follows:
German Kaiser Wilhelm II had this fountain built in the fall of 1898 as a token of gratitude for his visit to the Ottoman ruler, the majestic Abdulhamid II.
When you read a few things about the history of the German Fountain, which is extremely elaborate in terms of craftsmanship and which you may find difficult to make sense of when you encounter it for the first time, you can better understand why it is there. The German Fountain is located at the end of what was known as the Hippodrome during the Byzantine period, next to the Sultan Ahmet Tomb. There are many places to visit around Sultanahmet, and depending on your interests, this trip can take days. If you are curious about where and what to see in the area, take a look at our Fatih Places to Visit page.