The Hochstrahlbrunnen became operational in October 1873, with its inauguration attended by Emperor Franz Joseph 1. Hochstrahlbrunnen translates as “the fountain with tall jets.”
The fountain was commissioned to commemorate the construction of the first Vienna spring water pipeline. A milestone in urban development and city planning for the time. The pipeline brought water to Vienna straight from the Styrian alps, bringing with it clean water and health benefits for the people of the city.
The number of fountains is symbolic with the edge of Hochstrahlbrunnen having 365 little fountains that represent the days of the year, the 12 high fountains represent the months of the year, and the 24 smaller fountains the hours of the day. Six medium-sized fountains and the central island are said to represent the days of the week and the 30 other fountains represent the days of the month. This was a rearrangement done in 1906 as originally, the structure had one central fountain to represent a year, four smaller ones to represent the seasons, and 365 to represent the days of the year.
The fountain sits in front of the Memorial to the Red Army but there was no intentional link in placing the two so close together.
At night, the fountain is illuminated with lights that change color.