In the middle of the Place Castellane, a monumental statue reaches high into the sky. At its base water gushes. This is the Fontaine Castellane. Here at the crossroads of Rue de Rome, Boulevard Baille and Avenues Jules Cantini and du Prado, local mason Jules Cantini gave the city of Marseilles a gift to celebrate water in its many guises: river, torrent, sea. Sculptor Allar designed the monument and it was completed in 1911.
Marseille historically has an interesting relationship with water. Although on the Mediterranean and therefore surrounded by water, the city had difficulty finding enough fresh water for the needs of its citizens. Thus a huge system of canals and aqueducts was developed to bring water over the mountains from the Durance, and thus the Rhone, to the city. It opened in 1849 and provided all the water supply for Marseille until 1970. It still brings two-thirds of Marseille's water. Fontaine Castellane represents the city's relationship with water by depicting the Rhone, the Mediterranean, the Torrent and the Source.