Piazza delle Erbe (Obstplatz) is located in the center of Bolzano.
Fruit, vegetables, and poultry have been sold here for over 500 years. The lively produce market is open all day, every day, except for Saturday afternoons, Sundays, and holidays. The small square was constructed in 1277, when Count Meinhard II ordered the city gates and walls to be torn down and the moat to be filled in.
From then on, this square became the financial district for the part of the city under his direct rule, while Piazza del Grano (Kornplatz) remained the center of the bishopric. On the corner of Via Museo, there is a plaque marking the former location of an old hotel called "Al Sole," which boasted famous guests such as Goethe, Herder, and Joseph II Holy Roman Emperor.
On the corner of Via dei Portici, one can find the Fountain of Neptune, which was designed by G. Mayr di Fiè and cast by Joachim Reiss. The statue is also referred to as "Gabelwirt" (“host with fork”). It was erected in 1777 and is the city’s only monumental fountain. The main reason for its construction was to aid with issues relating to sanitation and water supply. It features the god of the sea with three dolphins on top of large basin-like shells made of bronze. These figures rest on a marble base and shoot water into the shell-shaped pools below. It is located where the olden-day stocks, or the so-called “Narrenhäusl” (asylum), once stood and where, from 1578 onwards, those sentenced to public humiliation were brought.
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