German Fountain can be considered the symbol of Turkish-German friendship, which became closer in the 19th century. The Ottoman Empire was following a balance policy in that period, and guns were bought from Germany. German Emperor Wilhelm II, who enabled this exchange of weapons, came to Istanbul three times. This fountain was built in commemoration of second visit of him. It is also known as Kaiser Wilhelm II Fountain. The fountain was built in Germany. Its artwork was built by a lot of famous German and an Italian architects.
The opening of the fountain which was put in its place in Istanbul was realized on Wilhelm II’s birthday. German Emperor presented the fountain as a gift to the Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II and Istanbul.
German fountain is one of the most unique constructions of the era. It doesn’t resemble German or Turkish architecture. Octagonal dome at the top is carried by eight columns. Each arch where columns are connected to each other, has a medallion. Abdulhamid’s signature (tughra), which is located on a green background and Wilhelm II’s icon which is located on a blue background, are the other features that make this artwork important. It also refers to a friendship between two countries.
German fountain is informative about world politics besides its unique artistic beauty. It is also remarkable that the date of bringing the fountain to Istanbul was thirteen years before World War I. With the exception of Ottoman Empire’s interests before the war, it is known that executives were Germanophil.