Dubrovnik: Velika Onofrijeva fontana


Located at the western end of the Placa and in the middle of a small square close to Pile Gate is the Big Onofrio’s Fountain. It was built in 1438 by the Neapolitan builder Onofrio della Cava who was hired by the Republic to construct the urban aqueduct. Unlike the majority of other Dalmatian cities under Venetian authority who solved the problem of water supply by building large cisterns for rain water, Dubrovnik decided to bring water from a well. Onofrio tapped from the well named  Sumet at Rijeka Dubrovacka, 12 kilometres from the city. He built two branches at Konali above the city itself and also built a number of mills


By building the Little Onofrio Fountain and the Big Onofrio Fountain, water was supplied to the city in two public places. The fountain was heavily damaged by the earthquake of 1667 and as a result, the sculptural ornaments which once adorned the Fountain, have been lost.


The original 16 masks in relief are still extant and water jets gush out of their mouths.

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