Elephant Fountain

May 17, 2018 129

Today, the enigmatic pachyderm mentioned by the geographer sits atop an 18th-century fountain in the middle of a piazza. The fountain was constructed in the 1730s by Sicilian architect Giovanni Battista Vaccarini, who appropriated the city’s by-then legendary elephant as its centerpiece.

Vaccarini draped a marble saddle cloth over the elephant that bears the coat of arms of St. Agatha, Catania’s patroness. For the icing on his totemic cake, Vaccarini plopped an Egyptian obelisk of equally mysterious origin on the elephant’s back. The facts surrounding the construction of the fountain are known, but pretty much everything else regarding u Liotru the elephant and the Egyptian obelisk he carries is not.

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SOURCE: https://www.atlasobscura.com

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