The Rizal Fountain in Wilhelmsfeld

The Ullmer’s fountain shipped here to become the Rizal fountain.

In Wilhelmsfeld, away from the distractions of the busy German towns, Rizal finished his Noli. Ullmer hearing the news of a Filipino doctor that was executed in Bagumbayan contacted the German consul in Manila asking if that was the guest that stayed with them. The consul confirmed that he’s the same guy. Rizal in a note to some of the Ullmer mentioned that he’ll probably never see them again. He was right. (The copperplate dedication below the iron marker is erroneous, it says ” 155 years”, should be “150 years”)

The long and cold educational field trip in Wilhelmseld for me ironically, ended here, in Luneta, in some forgotten ground that no one bother to see except bums and underage student lovers. This fountain was in Wilhelmsfeld until the Germans thought it a good idea to bring it here in the 60’s as a gift. It was recently repaired (unveiled by no less than Noynoy Aquino) for the 150th year of Rizal’s birthday.

Although they call it Rizal fountain, it was actually the drinking fountain in Ullmer’s rectory. The guy wasn’t the only one drinking from it. Even birds drank and bathed on it. Someone from the town hall told me that “part of the house” of Ullmer was sent to the Philippines “a long time ago”. At first I thought it was really something that belongs to the house; like a window, a door or a furniture. I was surprised to hear that it was a stone drinking fountain.

These are fountains connected to aqueducts or in Wilhelmsfeld’s case, springs. At the end of 19th century these drinking fountains became purely decorative.

Before Wilhemsfeld, I didn’t even know that a fountain installed in the house of the good pastor existed, later uprooted and moved to Luneta in the 60’s. I’ve visited the park, since I was a kid, countless times but for some strange reason this object has escaped my curious attention. Now there it is, the final piece that concludes the Wilhelmsfeld visit a few months ago.


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