There are approximately 1600 drinking fountains throughout Barcelona, however, one is known to have special magical powers. La Font de Canaletes casts a ‘spell’ on many unsuspecting visitors to the city every day.
The fountain is famous for two reasons. First, is the legend. According to it, if you drink from this fountain you will fall in love with Barcelona causing you to return to the city. The warning sign, a small brass plaque near the fountain on the ground, is often overlooked by visitors. The plaque states:
“Si beveu aigua de la font de Canaletes sempre més sereu uns enamorats de Barcelona. I per lluny que us n’aneu. Tornareu sempre.”
“If you drink water from the Font de Canaletes you will always be in love with Barcelona. And however far away you go. You will always return.”
Secondly, due to city tradition. Since the 1930s, fans of the famous FC Barcelona football team, known as “cules” or “culers” would gather here to find out the score of the games. The La Rambla newspaper, located next to the fountain, would write the score of the game on a blackboard in front of the office. Barça Fútbol Club fans would stay and celebrate victories here.
The fountain itself is not a spectacular fountain. The iron monument comprises of four water spouts. They are mounted in front of the shield of Barcelona. The fountain is completed with a streetlamp with four arms on top. You will find La Font de Canaletes near the top of Las Ramblas, near Plaça de Catalunya. The current fountain dates back to 1888. However, the original fountain dated back to the 16th century. It received its name, Canaletes, referring to the water channels which supplied water from Collserola Ridge to Barcelona in the 14th century.
This symbol of Barcelona is often a meeting place for many tourists. Therefore, many unsuspecting people drink from the fountain every day, not knowing its special powers. If you visit Barcelona, be careful of the magical powers of La Font de Canaletes. I had plans to return to Barcelona before drinking from the fountain. I now call Barcelona home.
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