But that’s where you’ll find the Lorelei Fountain, at 161st Street and the Grand Concourse. It honors Heinrich Heine, a 19th century German poet who immortalized the mythical creature Lorelei in a poem.
“According to legend, the maiden was transformed into a siren after throwing herself into the [Rhine] river,” states the website for Joyce Kilmer Park, where the statue is located.
“She could be heard singing from a rock along the river, her voice hypnotizing sailors to sleep, and then to their death. The bas-reliefs around the pedestal include a profile of Heine. Other decorative and allegorical motifs include a frog, a bird, and a skull symbolizing mortality.”
The statue, completed in 1893, (above, in a NYPL digital collection photo) wasn’t intended for the Bronx; it was supposed to go up in Heine’s home city of Dusseldorf.
Declined in part because of anti-Semitism (Heine was Jewish), a group of German-Americans purchased the statue and unveiled it in 1899. It was rededicated, and moved a few blocks away, a century later.