Don’t miss this ornate fountain in Heraklion’s central square, which once brought daily drinking water to thousands of inhabitants.
Stop in Lions Square and admire the beautiful carvings of Morosini Fountain. Imagine the locals nearly four centuries ago filling up their water carriers from the fountain’s lobes and watching as the water gushed from the mouths of the four lions that hold the central basin. Stop for a coffee or a meal in one of the many cafés that line the square and enjoy people-watching as locals and visitors alike make their way through Heraklion’s busiest square.
Morosini Fountain was built in 1628 at the behest of General Franceso Morosini. It is regarded as one of the most famous and beautiful Venetian monuments in Heraklion, though its original purpose was practical rather than aesthetic. Over 1,000 barrels of drinking water per day were pumped from the Archanes springs to this fountain via a complicated system of pipes.
Enter Lions Square and you’ll see Morosini Fountain in the center with the four proud lions supporting the central basin. When the fountain was first built it was topped with a large statue of the Greek God Poseidon, though this has long since disappeared. Step closer and you can still see the Venetians’ tribute to Greek mythology carved into the eight lobes that surround the fountain. Tritons, dolphins, nymphs and reliefs of scenes from the Greek myths are all still visible on these basins.
One of the best ways to enjoy Morosini Fountain is to sit at one of the many cafés or tavernas around the outside of the square. As the center of the town, it is a popular meeting place for locals. Watch as couples and friends make their way to and from the fountain before heading out for the day. The constant sound of gushing water makes a pleasant backdrop to the chatter of the busy square. There are few more attractive backdrops in Heraklion to enjoy a coffee and watch the world go by.