The water shortage in the cities of Crete, historically, has always been a big problem. The inhabitants dealt with it constructing tanks, wells and fountains. Incity the construction of public fountains was the main solution for the cities’ water supply. The fountain, that originally supplied the city, was “the mother of the water” on the Evligia hill, which is located near the church of Agios Ioannis and dates from the Byzantine period. At the end of the Ottoman rule, after all the improvements and the interferences of the Venetians and the Turks, who over the years have brought water into the city, the largest water project was opened in 1893. It was a water tank in the area of Mastampa, to the west of .
Today, eight public and one private fountains are remaining as a part of the city’s cultural heritage from the Venetian period onwards. Most of them are “esme” type, which is the simplest form of fountains, made by the Turkish-cretan family, the Klapsarides family, the one that built the. The inscriptions on these fountains are almost identical and have embossed floral decoration and Arabic characters placed into eight equally sized rectangles, divided into two columns of four rectangles. Most of these fountains stopped working since the middle of the 20th century, when all the houses in Rethymno city were connected to the city’s central water system.
The, at Titou Petychaki Square, is the most significant in Rethymno and the legend says that whoever drinks water from this fountain, will stay forever young.
In the northwest corner of the Municipal Garden, at the Igoumenou Gavriil Street, there is a “Meskinovrysi” with an embossed Turkish inscription reading: “This fountain, which belongs to this neighborhood and was built by the son of the Klapsari Yunus Aga, Edem Bey, should never be put the evil eye on. Whoever is thirsty, let him drink and prey for my soul. The fountain will be maintained by the owner. 1863.” This fountain served all the lepers that were isolated between the Timios Stauros and the current cemetery. When the Iliakaki Street was built, the fountain was demolished and the inscription was moved to its current location.
The fountain located in the park opposite the Conscription building, earlier was standing on the corner made by Patriarchou Grigoriou and Psillaki streets on the outer stone fence of the 3-d Primary School, where it was moved during the Psillaki road opening. It consists of a pedestal, four niches and an inscription reading: “This fountain is for the neighborhood and the deed was by Edem Bey, son of Klapsaris Yunus Aga. 1863.”
The fountain on the 27, Patriarchou Grigoriou Street in “Elidaki” district reads an inscription with moulded Arabic characters built-in the outside wall of a house, above the arch: “This is the deed of Kasim Bey, son of Klapsari Yunus Aga. You who drink the water taken from this fountain should not just take water, but mercy and prey for my soul and for the love of God. Mercy my soul so that it could find Heaven. 1863.”
The fountain on 63, Nikiforos fokas Street (Makry Steno) can not be placed in time since its inscription, above the destroyed hydrant, has not been preserved.
The fountain that today is placed on the wall of the police station of Rethymno, initially was located opposite the 84, Melissinou Street and supplied with water the Tsikour Mpostan district. According to the Arabic inscription, the fountain was built in 1785 or 1882.
The fountain on the Koronaiou Road has an embossed floral-decorated inscription reading: “This fountain was made for people to drink water. Whoever drinks water and slakes his thirst, should prey for the soul of the one who built it. 1863”. a little bit to the right and higher, there is a smaller Arabic inscription reading: “This wall should never be hexed. Osman Efenti built it”.
The fountain on the corner of the Arkadiou Street and Ougko Street that served, apart from the inhabitants of that district, also the congregation of the, on which wall it was located. The fountain is covered with a dome and has two sides: the one that faces the Arkadiou Street and the other facing the courtyard of the mosque for the use of the congregation. The entrance to the mosque courtyard is under the dome of the fountain at the Ougko Street.
The fountain on the 14, N. Patelarou Street is private and dates back to the Venetian period. It served the needs of the chapel’s catholic priesthood at that time. The fountain is decorated with an impressive niche featuring a vase with flowers and two birds on the opposite sides.