The Jet d'Eau is a large fountain in Geneva, Switzerland and is one of the city's most famous landmarks
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it wasn’t a fountain at all and at first, it only spouted water 30 metres high.
The first Jet d'Eau was installed in 1886 at the Usine de la Coulouvrenière, a little further downstream from its present location.
It was used as a safety valve for a hydraulic power network and could reach a height of about 30 metres (98 ft).
Geneva authorities decided to turn it into a tourist attraction and moved the valve to its current position
In 1891, its aesthetic value was recognised and it was moved to its present location to celebrate the Federal Gymnastics Festival and the 600th anniversary of the Swiss Confederation when it was operated for the first time.
In 1891, with the move, the water fountain was connected to the drinking water system and the water flow increased so the spout climbed to 90m. (295 feet)
The present Jet d'Eau pumps lake water instead of city water
In 1951 the fountain reached its current maximum height of 140m after it was connected to a new pumping system that took water directly from the lake.
Some 500 litres per second of water now flows from the jet, at a speed of 200 kilometres per hour.
At any given moment, there are about 7,000 litres (1,800 US gal) of water in the air.
Unsuspecting visitors to the fountain—which can be reached via a stone jetty from the left bank of the lake—may be surprised to find themselves drenched after a slight change in wind direction.
Have you noticed the colour of the fountain?
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Tubes in the specially designed nozzle disperse air into the water, turning it into bubbles and creating the fountain’s white colour.
The fountain is manually switched on and off by five volunteers who are retired SIG workers.
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Since 2003, the fountain has operated during the day all year round, except in case of frost or particularly strong wind
It costs around 800,000 francs a year to run. (almost $1 million)
Located at the very heart of the harbour area, the Jet d’eau is the emblem of the City of Geneva and its main tourist attraction. It is an integral part of the landscape and occupies a special place in the locals’ hearts.
Marking different days or celebrations
The Jet d'eau is regularly lit up in a wide range of colours to mark different days or celebrations, a sign that Geneva and the SIG are actively involved in these events.
●● Some examples
19 November: blue, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child;
●● 25 November: orange, to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women;
●● 1 December: red, to mark World AIDS Day
You can easily walk from the City centre and the old Town to the water fountain
No ticket needed, you can visit the water fountain for free
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