Posted by: viewfromtheriva | May 26, 2010

Split’s glorious fountain may once again grace the Riva


The fountain at the end of the Riva, circa 1930

During the 1880’s a monumental fountain at the end of the Riva was built that became the pride and joy of Dalmatia.  With a dozen classical statues flanking a triple tiered fountain, topped by a statue of a beautiful maiden, it was the meeting point of the city for decades.  Cast iron lights were at the corners and a low railing surrounded the edifice with a cascade of steps for seating, like many of the majestic fountains in Rome.

Next to it was the famous Bellevue Hotel that during the pre-war days hosted the rich and famous, like Agatha Christie, Bernard Shaw, Anatole France, and Enrico Caruso. The Bellevue is still operating, but it is a faded reminder of its once former glory.

The fountain and many other wonderful public buildings were the brainchild of Split’s flamboyant mayor at the time, Antonio Bajamonit. Interestingly, the cost of the fountain was actually paid for by  Split’s citizens.

But in 1947, the new Yugoslav communist regime had it blown up because it reminded them too much of the Italian fascist era here.  Today it’s just a former shell of itself, but a local organization is trying to restore the fountain by collecting signatures and displaying old photos and a new model of what the fountain was–and could be again.

In 1947, it was blown up, destroyed but not forgotten!

A scale model of the original fountain is now on display on the Riva, just in front of where the fountain is today.

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Responses

  1. […] The original Bajamonti Fountain (Image source: View from the Riva) […]


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