The Bertoldsbrunnen (“Bertold’s Fountain”) is a monument in the historic city of Freiburg im Breisgau.
A fountain at the crossing of the Salzstraße and Kaiser-Joseph-Straße was built in 1807 in remembrance of May 5, 1806, when Freiburg swore its oath to the new territorial lord, the prince-elector Karl Friedrich von Baden, who was promoted to grand duke in June 1806. However, the monument of the dukes of Zähringen was not only for Friedrich, who had the titles of grand duke of Baden and duke of Zähringen. It was also a symbol of the worship of duke Berthold III — the founder of Freiburg, Conrad I — who built the Münster, and Albert of Austria — the donor of the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg. All this was expressed through Latin inscriptions at the pedestal of the fountain,
The fountain was completely destroyed by bombers during a British airstrike on November 27, 1944.
The curatorship of Bertoldsbrunnen, which was founded in 1957, agreed on the design by Nikolaus Röslmeir (1901 – 1977). It provided for a relatively abstract monument: a pedestal made out of limestone, approximately 12 feet tall, which is positioned in a shallow water basin (fountain) and which carries an equestrian statue. The overall shape of the fountain with its sculpture is inspired by gothic pointed arches, which is supposed to establish a connection to the Freiburg Minster. The pedestal bears the inscription “For the Dukes of Zähringen, founders and men of Freiburg im Breisgau” (Den Herzögen von Zähringen, Gründern und Herren von Freiburg im Breisgau). The crests of the (Swiss) Zähringer cities were not incorporated in the pedestal as this would have weakened the overall impression. An emblem from the Middle Ages served as basis for the equestrian statue.
The fountain was financed with donations which had been collected after the city council had conditioned it in February 1958. Overall, it cost 120,000 Deutsche Mark. On November 15, 1965, Lord Major Eugen Keidel laid the foundation stone. On November 27, 1965, the anniversary of the bomb attack of 1944, the fountain was presented to the public. However, due to the abstract design of the knight cast in bronze, the people were not pleased with it.
In the year 1972, the fountain was moved to its present locating in its middle. At the same time, the fountain basin was taken off, and the monument was placed in a water basin embedded in the ground.