The gorgeous focal point of the Bethesda Terrace, the Bethesda Fountain is one of the largest fountains in New York, measuring twenty-six feet high by ninety-six feet wide. It is one of the most well known fountains in the world, and the statue at its center was the only sculpture to have been commissioned as a part of Central Park's original design.
This neoclassical sculpture, also known as Angel of the Waters, features an eight-foot bronze angel who stands above four small cherubim representing health, purity, temperance, and peace.
The angel herself carries a lily in one hand while the other remains outstretched, poised in the action of delivering a blessing on the water pouring from around her feet and into the basin at the bottom of the fountain. This is to commemorate the 1842 opening of the Croton Aqueduct, which supplied New York City with fresh water.