Alexandra Fountain – Bendigo


Alexandra Fountain, situated in the heart of Bendigo, Victoria, is an iconic landmark and a testament to the city's rich history. This article explores the significance of the fountain, its architectural grandeur, and cultural importance. Bendigo, a city known for its vibrant heritage and stunning architecture, boasts Alexandra Fountain as one of its most cherished landmarks. Located at the intersection of View Street and Pall Mall in Bendigo's bustling Charing Cross area, this majestic fountain captivates the attention of locals and visitors alike.

Location and Significance

Charing Cross serves as the pulsating centre of Bendigo, making it an ideal location for Alexandra Fountain. Standing proudly opposite the main entrance of Rosalind Park, the fountain holds a prime spot in the city's urban landscape. Its strategic placement ensures that anyone passing through or exploring Bendigo cannot miss its breathtaking presence.

Funding and Design

The creation of Alexandra Fountain was made possible through the collaborative efforts of various sources. The proceeds from the Bendigo Juvenile Industrial Exhibition in 1879 contributed £500, while George Lansell gave a generous donation of £700. The Sandhurst City Council (now the City of Greater Bendigo) also contributed to the funding, demonstrating the collective commitment to this remarkable project.

Renowned local architect William Vahland was entrusted with the design of Alexandra Fountain. Vahland, known for his exceptional architectural prowess, had left an indelible mark on Bendigo through his work on several prominent buildings. With his keen eye for detail and aesthetics, Vahland crafted a masterpiece that would stand the test of time.

Royal Connection

The fountain owes its name to Alexandra, Princess of Wales, a symbol of royalty and elegance. The grand opening of Alexandra Fountain on July 5, 1881, was graced by the presence of Princess Alexandra's sons, Prince Albert and Prince George. This royal connection further enhances the historical significance of the fountain, adding a touch of regality to its allure.

Architectural Features

Alexandra Fountain stands tall as a testament to Victorian-era architectural brilliance. It is the largest and most ornate municipal fountain in Victoria, rivalled only by the Exhibition Fountain in Melbourne's Carlton Gardens. Standing at a majestic height of 28 feet (8.5 m), the fountain boasts a circular pool with a diameter of 50 feet (15 m) and a depth of 2 feet (0.61 m).

Crafted from an impressive 20 tonnes (22 tons) of Harcourt granite, cast iron, and painted stone, the fountain exudes luxury and magnificence. Its decorative elements include intricately designed lion head spouts, allegorical female figures, bronzed mer-horses, and dolphins that gracefully spout water. In addition, medallions featuring seashells, dolphins, and tridents adorn the fountain, enhancing its visual splendour. The pool is adorned with a beautiful cast-iron fence and is softly illuminated by four elegant cast-iron lamps.

Historical and Cultural Importance

The significance of Alexandra Fountain extends beyond its architectural brilliance. It is a tribute to the success of the goldfields and the Bendigo region. The fountain serves as a reminder of the prosperous era that shaped Bendigo's identity and its contribution to the development of Victoria. While adhering to late Victorian monumental design aesthetics, the fountain's unique theme sets it apart from other structures of its time.

Refurbishment and Restoration

In 2017, a substantial refurbishment project was undertaken to ensure that Alexandra Fountain continued captivating future generations' imaginations. The AU$ 350,000 restoration initiative encompassed extensive repairs, repainting, and restoration work. As a result, the fence and masonry were meticulously repaired, and the plasterwork received a fresh coat of paint. Additionally, plumbing and electrical systems were modernized, ensuring the fountain's longevity and functionality.


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