The Piazza delle Erbe is, together with the Piazza Walther, the most famous square of Bolzano. It is the background to the city’s main market. The Fountain of Neptune is its principal attraction.
Piazza delle Erbe Bolzano
History and description
The Piazza delle Erbe was constructed in 1295. It is here that the famous portico’s start. Several narrow alleys lead away from the square.
Then, as now, it was the place where the fruit and vegetable market was held. It is open every day, except Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.
The square, which is long and narrow, was laid after Count Meinhard II had had the city walls and gates torn down and the moat filled up. The Piazza delle Erbe became the economic centre of the city, while the Piazza del Grano remained the religious centre.
Fountain of Neptune
The main attraction in the Piazza delle Erbe is the Fountain of Neptune. It is made of marble and bronze. The God of the Sea and his trident are accompanied by three dolphins resting on three giant shells. The fountain was erected in 1777 and took the place of a pillory, where criminals used to be ridiculed by the upstanding part of the population. Joachim Reis built the fountain, which had been designed by Georg Mayr di Fiè in 1746.
Hotel “Al Sole”
The Hotel “Al Sole” does not exist any more, but used to be on the corner of the Piazza delle Erbe and the Via Museo. A plaque on this neo-Gothic building mentions that its guests have included Mozart, Goethe and Emperor Joseph II.