Fish and Fisherman Fountain in Pferdemarkt

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Pferdemarkt, Stade, Germany
Fish and Fisherman Fountain in Pferdemarkt - Arsenal building in the evening
Fish and Fisherman Fountain in Pferdemarkt - The former Arsenal
Fish and Fisherman Fountain in Pferdemarkt - The former Arsenal
Fish and Fisherman Fountain in Pferdemarkt - Fish and Fisherman talking
Fish and Fisherman Fountain in Pferdemarkt - Pferdemarkt square
Fish and Fisherman Fountain in Pferdemarkt - Pferdemarkt square

Fish and Fisherman Fountain in Pferdemarkt Stade Reviews

Kathrin_E Kathrin_E
371 reviews
Fish and Fisherman Fountain in Pferdemarkt Feb 12, 2017
Pferdemarkt square, the former horse market, is the entrance to the old town when you are coming from the train station. The lower part is occupied by the bus station and a taxi stand. Car traffic can enter this part and continue into a parking garage but not proceed any further. The rest of the square is for pedestrians only, as are the three shopping streets that begin here. The most prominent building is the former arsenal (Zeughaus). The large white building was built in the era of the Swedish occupation shortly before 1700. It served as arsenal for the troops in the fortress. The inscription on the portal contains the date 1698. The relief in the gable shows the monogram of the Swedish King Carl XII and the royal crown. The arsenal now contains a number of shops and some gastronomy. The Italian ice cream parlour on the front side towards the square deserves an honourable mentioning! Get yourself a sweet and cool treat between sightseeing, sit down by the fountain and read a fairytale...

The fountain with the fish and the fisherman (unfortunately without water when I took the photos) refers to a fairy tale from the collection of the Brothers Grimm: The Fisherman and His Wife, De Fischer und sine Fru – originally told in North German dialect. Here is the tale in a summarizing translation by yours truly.


A poor fisherman lives in a shabby hut by the seashore together with his ambitious wife. Every day he goes fishing. One day he catches a large golden fish. The wish is bewitched, he can speak, and he begs the fisherman to set him free. The fisherman is a kind and gentle guy and lets the fish go.

When he returns home and tells his wife, she gets angry at him: “Didn’t you at least make a wish? He would surely have granted you a wish for his freedom!”

“Oh well, what should I wish for”, says the fisherman.

“Now look, husband, we are living in this shabby dirty shed – I want a nice house with a garden and a courtyard for chickens and ducks.”

The fisherman returns to the seashore and calls the fish:

“Buttje, Buttje, Timpetee, Buttje, Buttje in de See, mine Fru, de Ilsebill will nich so, as ick wohl will.” (My wife Ilsebill doesn’t want what I want.)

“So what does she want”, asks the fish. – “Well, since I set you free she says I should make a wish, she wants a nice little house…”

“All right”, says the fish, “go home and see.”

And indeed, he returns home and finds his wife in a pretty cottage surrounded by a blooming garden.

All is well and they live happily – for a fortnight or so. Then the wife suddenly finds the house too narrow and the garden too small. She wants a palace.

Unwillingly the fisherman goes back to the sea shore to speak to the fish again. This wish is granted, as are the further ones. She wants to be King, then Emperor, then even Pope – everything is fulfilled. But the wife still can’t get enough. In the end she wants to be like the Lord.

And poof – they are back in their poor shabby shed.

Fish and Fisherman talking
Pferdemarkt square
Pferdemarkt square
The former Arsenal
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Fish and Fisherman Fountain in Pferdemarkt Map
photo by: FK27