Ehekarussell – Nuremberg, Germany - Atlas Obscura
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Nuremberg, Germany

Ehekarussell

This lurid German fountain plots the sad course of marriage from dating to death. 

Since its unveiling, Nuremburg’s controversial bronze fountain, the Ehekarussell (loosely the Marriage-Merry-Go-Round) has been upsetting people with its sensationally grim representation of the trials of marriage.

Completed in 1981, the statuary fountain was put in place to cover a subterranean shaft. The artist, Jürgen Weber went above and beyond in his design which seems to communicate his less than sunny view of married life. The statue consists of a rough circle of visceral male and female figures that represent various points in a couple’s life. There is the sweet and optimistic dating phase where the figures seem fairly at peace, but then things take a surreal and dark turn. From there further scenes depict the couple getting old and frail or fat respectively, before they both die (murder each other?), becoming gruesome skeletons.

In addition to the questionable message of the piece, many of the figures are nude or beset by animals ranging from mundane (a goat) to monstrous (a giant lizard). Taken all together, the fountain was not universally loved.

However despite receiving complaints ever since its birth, the Ehekarussell remains to this day, alternately delighting and horrifying visitors. Much like in many marriages, not everyone is going to agree all the time.   

Know Before You Go

The fountain is easily found in the shadow of the Weißer Turm tower, which is over the top of the Weißer Turm subway (U-Bahn) station (U1 line).