This is one of the drinking fountains of so-called “Seven Springs” stone on Republic Square, which I like to call the “Armenian anti-thirst mandala”, because on hot summer days it has the supernatural power of fighting your thirst, and you don’t even have to pay for this delicious water coming right from the high mountains.
The name “Seven Springs” comes from old Armenian proverb “The nation gets power from 7 springs”. This artwork was installed in 1965, and the author is Spartak Kntekhtsyan. The old fountain heads that had forms of chess rooks and were made of bronze, got stolen in the early ’90s, which in the memory of the locals stand as “dark and cold years”, the years of the Nagorno-Karabakh war.
The local artist Noor made and and installed new heads in 2010, ordered by the “Yerevan Production” initiative. He based his work on the architecture of Republic Square’s buildings, with Armenian traditional ornaments and altars that kind of “embrace” the square. He explains that the “Seven Springs”, alternatively “Milk Springs”, represent the epic spring on Aragats mountain from which the ancient heroes always drunk. As Noor recalls in an interview, they were young students and used to go to “Seven Springs” to simultaneously jump and drink each from one fountain, so when there were more than seven of them, someone would always have to lose. It was before the flashmob officially came into existence in 1993 in New York.
The “Springs” are dry in winter.