Bau Philippus Brunnen


Construction of the Philippusbrunnen and subsequent inauguration by the donor Senator Dr. Franz Burda.


1955 wurde der Kirchplatz neu gestaltet. Anlässlich der Heimattage 1958 stiftete der Verleger Dr. Burda zu Ehren des Namenspatrons von Philippsburg, dem Heiligen Philippus einen Marktbrunnen, der auf dem neu gestalteten Kirchplatz errichtet wurde.


Reference / film number :  LFS01413 1
Date :  1957
Coloration :  Color
Sound :  Mute
Running time :  00:15:05
Reel format :  8 mm
Genre :  Amateur movie
Thematics :  Traditions, Local festivals
Archive :  Haus des Dokumentarfilms

Context and analysis

4677/5000 It is popularly known as the 'Burda fountain'. The publisher and media entrepreneur Dr. Franz Burda made it possible for his hometown Phillipsburg: With his donation, a fountain was built on the 'small promenade' in front of the town church. The construction work for the Philippsbrunnen - so the official name - began in 1957, the inauguration took place at the end of April 1958. The design in Franconian limestone came from the Heidelberg artist Edzard Hobbing.

The camera first looks at the location on the market square, pans along the sunlit facades before cutting to the construction site, which sinks into the shade. The first limestone block is already floating in the middle of the picture, and it's not just the people involved in the construction that attract the attention of the amateur filmmaker - it also includes the spectators, who seem to be increasing in number. Even during the construction phase, the fountain becomes an event that develops its own dramaturgy.

More and more limestone blocks and slabs come into view until two long shots show the whole, the “scene” that the building created: the limestone parts lying there with the people around them, some just standing there, the others in conversation. A kind of long-term observation gets underway, in which the technical and social side of the event belong together. The former now takes on concrete contours: A large block that belongs to the central column - the donor's profile is emblazoned above - is lifted into the well space. The white nave appears in the background while a worker is working on a ladder at the fountain column. A picture of the square again shows the onlookers, some of them armed with cameras. The building proves to be a social magnet, a social event.

Then the figure of Saint Philip is in the picture. The action of hoisting the white figure is gradually made up of cuts until the city's patron saint finally protrudes into the autumn sky without scaffolding and work with the fountain trough and the side parts can continue. Time is moving forward - originally the inauguration was already planned for December - and the passing time is concentrated in the impressions of the scene that the children made into their playground.

Soon the Burda fountain also took on clear contours with the reliefs on the side parts, the depictions from the city's history. Winter pictures slide in between and envelop the construction site in a poetic atmosphere - snow has also got stuck on Saint Phillippus - before the artisans pose by the fountain in the spring sun. The quickly cut pictures - hammering, sawing and rolling - make the urgent time felt again. The temporal dramaturgy has a vanishing point, the inauguration ceremony, on which the last works, the greening and the fine work on the fountain now indicate.

Aircraft with banners announce the event. The crowd on the market square forms groups and lines, from which the founder, Franz Burda, soon stands out in a half-close shot. Whether it is a group of children, the brass band, the church representatives or just the many people - in the film the event shows the performance character that is unique to it as a cultural event. With the celebration, the marketplace becomes a scene that will also be inscribed in the future everyday life of the redesigned square. The "main actor", the founder Franz Burda, who has just been named an honorary citizen, keeps coming into the picture as he sits in the front row with his wife. He can be seen in full shot when he goes to the lectern to commemorate the market square as the scene of large parades of troops in history. Later, when small discussion groups gradually stand out, he gets the close-up view that the protagonist is entitled to.

The Philippsbrunnen gradually emerges between the crowd of people until it comes to the center with the blessing from the Catholic priest. A hard cut follows - and the new scenery appears in everyday life: young women lean against the edge of the fountain in the sunshine, children appear, pose for the camera. The exceptional situation of the inauguration ceremony and the everyday situation at the fountain are inconspicuously related: the everyday pictures capture the exuberant mood that is conveyed by the presence of the camera. With the appearance of the young women, the scene can become visible as a scene - the new stage of everyday life at the Burda fountain. Reiner Bader

Identified persons

Dr. Franz Burda

  1. This film analysis is still in progress. It may therefore be incomplete and contain errors.