|The Contarini Fountain|
An elegant feature in the centre that is often admired is the ornate fountain decorated with white marble lions.
It provides a good focal point for photographers, against a backdrop of either the Palazzo della Ragione at the southern end of the square, as pictured here, or the marble facade of the Biblioteca Civica opposite.
The baroque fountain is similar to those seen in Venetian squares, as it was donated to the city by Alvise Contarini, who had been sent by Venice to be Podestà (administrator) for Bergamo.
Contarini’s parting gift to Bergamo at the end of his time in office in 1780 was practical as well as decorative. The water flowing from a spout in the mouth of the sphinx must have been a welcome relief for the local people during the frequent droughts being suffered by the city at the time.