3. The Heinrich Heine Memorial in the Grand Concourse Was Purchased From Germany

While walking through Joyce Kilmer Park, one will come across the Heinrich Heine Memorial, also known as the Lorelei Fountain. The elaborate marble fountain is dedicated to German poet and writer Heinrich Heine, who spent his entire life in Germany and France. So why might a fountain in the Bronx be dedicated to a man who has never set foot there?

In 1887, the Heine Memorial was set to be built in the writer’s hometown in Düsseldorf, Germany. There was a disagreement over the memorial’s design between Austro-Hungarian Empress Elisabeth and the committee responsible for building the memorial, subsequently halting its construction. The memorial was put off until 1888, when the committee announced plans to have it built by 1895. This time, there was debate about which German city in which to place the memorial. During this time, the Arion Society, a New York-based German singing society, expressed interest in the memorial. Ultimately, it was built in the Grand Concourse and unveiled on July 8, 1899.