Photos: Enrique Abe, SEDEMA
The Fountain of the Frogs has been a favorite in Chapultepec for more than a hundred years. La fuente de las ranas is actually an exact replica of a 1914 fountain in Seville in Spain. That one, in the Parque María Luisa, was designed by ceramicist, Manuel García-Montalván. He made the Chapultepec version and another in Tenerife to the exact same specifications. The original in Seville was nearly destroyed during the Spanish Civil War and it’s been restored numerous times. The shop, Cerámicas Montalván, only finally closed its doors in 2012.
It was the Mexican ambassador to Spain, Miguel Alessio Robles, who requested the fountain in 1921. It was installed in that year, closer to the Chapultepec park main entrance. The waterworks, famous tile, and the eight figures (seven frogs, one duck atop a turtle) are identical to those in Seville. The fountain was later relocated to the present site.
This Fountain of the Frogs’ origins are far less mysterious than those of its popular lute-playing counterpart in the City Center. But equally popular, the circular fountain remains a popular spot for reflection in Chapultepec even 100 years later.