Neptune's Fountain at Malaga Cove

neptune malaga cove palos verdes.jpg

Neptune's Fountain

Malaga Cove

The Neptune Fountain at Malaga Cove, Palos Verdes Estates, CA.

The famous Neptune's Fountain at Malaga Cove, The Palos Verdes Estates, CA, sports Neptune and his trident rising gloriously from the waves. Neptune is backed by four cherubs, four mermaids, four dolphins and several fishes among his kingdom, and all of it is a stunning depiction of his power over the sea.

The fountain itself was gifted to the Palos Verdes Estates in 1930 as a gift from the Palos Verdes Project. This project sought to better the community while trying to protect some of the famous coastlines that make California so well known nowadays. The Palos Verdes Estates themselves are a sort of structured group of affluent cities all planned by one master architect. This architect was not responsible for the fountain however, which was designed much later.

The Flemish artist Giambologna originally designed the fountain topping statue of Neptune some 200 years before erection and was originally a bronze statue. The one that stands in Palos Verdes was a one third sized version that was imported to the US from Italy in the 1920's by one Arnoldo Adolfo Di Segni, a businessman who went broke shortly after he moved here. The statue was then purchased for the low fee of $1 by the Palos Verdes Project, who made a gift of it and commissioned the rest of the fountain.

Unfortunately the path of the statue has not always run true. It has been vandalized over the years with different colored paints, been chipped and restored – and in 1969 the whole thing had to be fully restored, so that the fountain as we know it today is not truly the original statue. A second restoration was also restored in 1999 when it was also rededicated. Amid all of this turmoil there has been a fairly long and strife filled battle between two groups of fans... those that believe Neptune should wear a fig leaf, and those who don't.

Neptune was the name that ancient Romans gave to the Greek god of the sea and earthquakes, Poseidon. He was the brother of Jupiter (Zeus) and of Pluto (Hades).

Neptune was the name that ancient Romans gave to the Greek god of the sea and earthquakes, Poseidon. He was the brother of Jupiter (Zeus) and of Pluto (Hades).


The 1999 restoration project saw a years worth of work by local architectures and sculptures alike to the tune of $103,000,00. This saw the fountain brought back to life, as it were, as they studiously fixed each of the formerly broken nozzles which hadn't sprayed water in many years. Nowadays if you visit the fountain you should find it in full swing, pumping water into the sky so that Neptune is never completely dry. The wonderful spectacle can be witnessed everyday for free in the center of the square, and is particularly cherished during the high heat of summer.

Neptune's Fountain is an iconic statue that makes a brilliant focal point and a lovely place to visit. With shops, restaurants and many other sights to see within the same stretch of coastline a trip to this part of California really is a once in a lifetime experience. Just include Neptune's Fountain in your list of things to see, bring your camera and try not to dive in – especially in the high California heat!