The Ørnespringvandet fountain was made by the artist Hugo Liisberg and erected on Skoletorvet in Silkeborg in 1931.
The motif of an eagle swooping down on a fish is inspired by a story which Hans Christian Andersen heard on one of his visits to Silkeborg. In his diary dated 4 June 1850, he writes:
“The coachman told of a great pike which was caught last night in Silkeborg with the skeleton of an eagle on his back. The eagle had swooped down, digging its talons deep into the flesh, which it would free by eating the fish, but the fish had been too strong for the bird and when it got wet, had it been pulled down; from time to time the forester heard the shrill cry of the eagle as it was carried away.”
Hans Christian Andersen tells the same story in a letter to his good friend B.S. Ingemann on 12 June 1850: “Here are great eagles that often swoop down into the river to take pike. If they are stronger than the bird, a fight ensues and you hear the gruesome cry of the bird. Last year, a pike was reeled in carrying on its back the skeleton of an eagle. The bird had dug its talons so firmly in the fish’s back – it must eat itself free again – that it had been pulled under the water, where the other fish had picked the flesh off the poor creature” .