The history of Samson Fountain.
The Samson fountain was created by the talented architect Ivan Grigorovich- Barsky. It was the main water source in the Kyiv-Podil area. However, the citizens wanted it to be not only practical but beautiful too. The fountain was originally known as “Felitsiyal” (Feliticas is the Greek goddess of good luck). The statue of the Goddess was placed over the spring. Then in 1808 it was replaced by another sculpture “Samson pulls away the lion’s jaws (from the water)” topped with a copper figurine of the patron saint of the city of Kyiv – St. Michael the Archangel. There is also a sundial on the pediment. In olden days, the fountain was extremely popular with the many worshipers and pilgrims who came to the many holy places of Kyiv. Visiting Podil, they took water “from the Lion” and hung crosses made of cypress twigs and small icons on his neck as a token of their gratitude. According to folklore, he who takes “holy water” from the fountain three times would settle down in Kyiv for the rest of their lives. In 1934 the fountain was destroyed – but restored in 1981. By the way, the sculpture that now stands in the rotunda is a copy. And the original is stored in the Art Museum.
This article was published in the book Interesting Kyiv.
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© Sky Horse Publishing House (Kyiv) / Nahs Haus, 2019
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