During the Late Middle Ages and the Revival period in Bulgaria the building of a stone fountain and the symbolic meaning of its decorations are closely intertwined with the Bulgarian’s cult of water. Its artistic effect is rooted in the dual symbolics of spring and water, which combines the powerful and many-directed energy of the sacred and the utilitarian.
In the feudal-patriarchal types of culture the spring, the well and the fountain are among the main socializing and providing economic power artefacts of a sacred nature, which associate water – earth – life. As the wise saying states: “Water is more important than earth, if it dries up, everything will die”. There is a great number of legends about fountains and wells. As folk narratives they refer to folk mythology and history. Some of these legends are connected with concrete historical events or persons, like for instance, Elia’s fountain in Nikopol, “The White-Legged Girl’s Spring” near Harmanli, “Badzhali Cheshme” near Novi Pazar, the fountain in the village of Kyuchuk Kainardzha, Silistra region, Hadzhi Vulko’s fountain in Zheravna, and others.
When speaking about the functions of folk art in the system and development of Bulgarian culture, the role of the fountain in the traditional life of the Bulgarians is particularly important. Built up and praised in songs, the fountain has always been an integral part of the life of the Bulgarian. Its decoration is addressed to the broad masses of the people. It reflects their emotional and sacred relations with the water and the fate of the homeland. An important characteristic feature of the artistic image of the Bulgarian fountain from that time is the interlacing of its utilitarian function and the fabulous, fantastic, sacred sense in the atmosphere around it.