Undine Picture

Undine Fountain in the Kurpark of the city of Baden in Nether Austria.

To the north of Baden bei Wien, on the southern slopes of the Badener Berg, stretches the Kurpark, containing the Kongresshaus and the Arena, an open-air theater. Close by the Römerquelle (Roman Springs) gurgles forth from a rock basin. Here, too, are monuments to distinguished visitors to the spa - a temple (1927) to Beethoven, a smaller temple with a bronze bust (1961) to Mozart, busts of the playwright Grillparzer (1874) and the Emperor Joseph II (1894), together with a bronze group (1912) commemorating the composers Lanner and Strauss, who often played here.
The unusual Undine Fountain, with numerous figures, was erected in 1903.
The Undinebrunnen Fountain is a delightful combination of human, animal and mythological creatures. It stands in Kurpark, water gushing out displaying the light touch of whimsy. Its central figure is an undine – a nymph or water sprite. She stands poised above the water in all her Grecian glory. At her feet, in a tumble of simulated brown rocks are figures from the myths, humans and creatures. A face and hands of a giant are emerging from the stones. An oversize frog looks about to leap into the basin at the nymph’s feet. Here and there stand a small human being staring upwards at the nymph. She, gloriously and obliviously continues to remain in the center as water splashes around her.



The Undine myth by Friedrich de la Motte Fouque was written in 1811 and served as the basis for Hans Christian Anderson's "The Little Mermaid". Later, that became the basis for the Disney movie of the same name. "Undine" is another word for mermaid, water spirit or water elemental.

Here is a brief synopsis of the story:

Undine is a mermaid who was exchanged for a human child by her uncle, a river god. She gets a soul by marrying a human and is an excellent wife. However, her husband is not comfortable with her. Although she has a soul she retains the powers she had as a water spirit. The husband's ex-girlfriend is jealous of Undine and uses the husband's fears to breaks up the marriage. Undine, rejected by her husband, returns to her underwater world, but warns her husband that he must stay true to her or she will be honor-bound to kill him. The husband, not believing this, marries the girl friend and is killed by Undine.
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