What’s the German for “bubbler”?

As far as I was able to tell, Berlin is a city without water fountains. The enthusiasm for bottled mineral water seems to reach into all aspects of life, and the request for tap water (Leitungswasser) is often received with surprise. Paul and I spent a lot of time wondering at how little water Berliners seem to consume. We wondered even more at the water pumps around town, which invariably have a sign posted on them saying “Kein Trinkwasser,” suggesting that the water they dispense is not potable. (At first I thought these were simply 19th-century artifacts for watering horses and carrying water for washing or somesuch, but there are plenty of post-WWII-era pumps as well, so your guess is as good as mine.) Where this water is coming from is not clear to me, but I guess it’s not the same as the tap.

This is all prefatory to a discovery we made during our last few days in the city, when we visited the Botanischer Garten. Lo and behold, we saw… a water fountain!

Amrys is shocked to find a water fountain.
Amrys is shocked to find a water fountain.

You can see my complete amazement at this artifact. I gladly drank and filled my water bottle at this unexpected source of refreshment.


I think that this may be the only potable-water fountain in the entire city. We did see one near the Uhlandstrasse stop on the U1, but if I recall correctly it was also labeled “Kein Trinkwasser.” What are you supposed to do, wash your hands in it? It did have a handy dog-level spout, though, which seemed like a good idea.


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