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Frankfurt, Germany

Frau Rauscher Fountain

This German fountain of a legendary apple wine-loving drink thief will spit on you. 

The quaint, historic area of Old Sachsenhausen in Frankfurt, Germany is chock-full of pubs serving apple wine, the city’s most popular drink. On the Klappergasse, a small cobbled alleyway, you’ll find a spitting statue immortalizing Frau Rauscher, a staunch, apple wine-loving wench made infamous in a well-known German song.

The inscription near the water-shooting woman, translated into English, says, “The market woman from the Klappergasse has a bump on her head. Whether that comes from drinking alcohol or by her husband, the police will clarify.”

Frau Rauscher (“Rauscher” means “partly fermented cider”) was a hardy old German woman, supposedly homeless, who lurked around the area during the early 19th century. She was constantly buzzed on the local alcoholic speciality, apfelwein (apple wine).

Frau Rauscher rarely paid for the drinks she imbibed. Instead, she would sneak around and stealthily approach the benches packed with locals enjoying their beloved wine. She’d then snatch entire drinks from the unsuspecting people.

The spitting statue pays homage to her brazen signature act. When disgruntled patrons admonished Frau Rauscher for pilfering their apple wine, she’d spit the drink into their faces and then drunkenly exclaim that because she had given them their beverage back, there was no need to be mad.

Her legend is so popular in the area that Possman’s, one of the largest manufacturers of apple wine in Frankfurt, named an apple wine after her.

Frau Rauscher’s fountain is located just outside a restaurant bearing her name. Though it has been there since 1961, it was recently refurbished, making its stream even stronger. Be careful when rounding the corner, or you may find yourself on the receiving end of one of Frau Rauscher’s signature spits.