Gaze at the Majestic Fountain of Four Rivers in Rome
Amongst the famous fountains in Rome, the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, or Fountain of the Four Rivers, is a magnificent water feature in the Piazza Navona, in the heart of Rome, Italy. The fountain was erected in 1651 for Pope Innocent X by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. A competition was held to pick the design, and Bernini triumphantly captured the judges' hearts after a famous dispute.
It was said that the pope has desired so much to create a fountain in the midst of Piazza Navona as an added charm to his home, the Palazzo Pamphili, which faced the piazza. Innocent has called on the leading architects in Rome excluding Bernini, but Prince Niccolo Ludovisi, husband of the pope's niece, heard of this plan and persuaded Bernini to create a model. This, Ludovisi has slipped into the rest of the designs which the pope has to take a look at. Upon his gaze, the pope was instantly struck by the design, and, deciding that it was the winner, called on to Bernini to make the design.
Public fountains in Rome's piazzas are more than accessories. They are in fact highly needed water sources for areas with poor plumbing. Other than that, they serve was monuments to their sponsors, most of them high-ranking elites and papal patrons.
Bernini, whose works have decorated many fountains in the country, has showcased his skill in these amazing water features. The design for Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi was inspired by the Monument of the Four Moors, which was used to commemorate the defeat of the Ottomans. In this fountain, several metaphors were alluded to. The Ganges boasts of a long oar, which symbolizes the river's features of being easy to navigate. Nile is decorated with a loose piece of cloth, which is meant to represent the fact that nobody knew where the source of the river was. Danube touches the Pope's coat of arms, being the largest river closest to Rome and Rio de la Plata sits on a pile of coins, a symbolism of the treasures America has offered to Europe. Rio de la Plata looked terrified of a snake, which depicts how rich men are scared that their money can be taken from them. Each of the river deities are showcased upon the central tower embellished with an Egyptian obelisk, representing the Papal power that surmounts the Pamphili symbol.
From this illustrious design, water flows from a jagged travertine marble. It was a legend that Bernini deliberately positioned Rio de la Plata as if the sculpture cowers down the facade of the church of Sant'Agnese, which has been built by Bernini's rival, Borromini. The church was completed several years after the fountain has been erected.
It was June 1651 when Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi has been unveiled. A festival, paid by the Pamphili family for Innocent X has been held. It was said that the locals were overwhelmed by the massive fountain that contained lifelike deities.
Decorate your garden with a classic outdoor fountain with lifelike figures that will liven up any boring space; discover the beauty of cast stone outdoor fountains and other designs here in our store.
The Oldest Outdoor Fountains in the World
Outdoor fountains are a stunning piece of engineering that can be enjoyed by millions of people. Some are purely tourist attractions while others served a purpose for filtering water or even as a memorial.
While you might think fountains are a relatively modern invention, with fantastic displays in Las Vegas and Singapore immediately springing to mind, mankind has been building and admiring fountains for centuries.
Some of the world’s oldest fountains are still working as well as they did when they were first built proving that if something is designed and built well, it can stand the test of time.
Versailles Fountain, France
The fountains at the Palace of Versailles is one of the most beautiful places to visit. Sat within 800 hectares of pristine grounds, there are 50 fountains which have 620 water jets.
While the garden itself was created in 1632 after Louis XIII bought the land, it was some years later, in 1664, that the fountains began to be built.
There are several ornate fountains around the gardens all named – some after Greek gods. Bacchus, Latona, Saturn, Apollo, Flora, Ceres, Neptune, Mirror, Dragon and the Nymphs bath are all dotted around this huge garden.
Samson and the Lion Fountain, Russia
Louis XIV also inspired this incredible fountain sitting at the Peterhof Palace in St Petersburg, Russia. This fountain really tells a story. The centre of the water jets tells a story moulded out of stone.
There are 64 fountains which fall into the pool and has been in place since 1730. The Samson Fountain shows the moment Samson defeats the lion which is meant to symbolise Russia’s victory over Sweden during the Great Northern War.
A lion was chosen as it appears on the Swedish coat of arms and what some would say was the turning point of the war was St Samson’s Day.
This impressive fountain shoots water 20 metres in the air from the lion’s mouth. Incredibly, this is achieved without modern technology. Water fills reservoirs around the fountain at an elevated height. It’s this height that uses gravity to create pressure and then power the fountains.
The Hundred Fountains, Italy
This incredible water feature combines water jets and planting to create a leafy, lush wall with a beautiful sound of its own.
Located in Tivoli, these fountains are part of the Villa D’Esta and are a must see attraction if you ever find yourself in that part of the world.
Carved animal heads and ornate figures pour water from their mouths into two running troughs which sit one on top of the other. Atop that is a selection of water jets spraying different patterns into the air. The effect is wonderful and the noise of rushing water can be heard from the moment you arrive at the villa.
In the central square, a huge fountain sits in the centre of a pool surrounded by a curved wall climbing with ivy and other rambling plants.
The villa itself is one of the best Renaissance residences in existence and definitely one of the more luxurious.
Amazing Facts About the Fountain of Wealth
A fountain of wealth sounds like somewhere you want to visit, right? But this fountain, which is in one of Singapore’s largest shopping malls, is more than just a spectacle to greet visitors.
The Suntec City Mall took five years to build – from 1992 to 1997. It is more than just a shopping mall, there are offices with foreign diplomats, embassies and trade centres which make up part of Singapore’s bustling economy.
Sitting right in the middle of this stunning development is the Fountain of Wealth. Architects Tsao $ Mckown designed the entire building to be shaped like a hand. And the bronze fountain sits like a ring on the palm of this gigantic hand.
Record Breaking Design
The Fountain of Wealth is recorded by the Guinness Book as the biggest fountain in the world.
It is made of bronze silicon material and the huge 66-metre ring is held up by four pillars. At nearly 14 metres tall, the bronze structure was actually made in Australia.
It has jets of water coming from the ring itself as well as the ability to play laser shows and spurts of water can jump into the air.
There are also small water spouts that appear to “jump” around the outside of the pool which go alongside a musical performance every evening.
Visiting the Fountain of Wealth
Suntec City mall is in the Marine Centre which is within the Downtown Core. It has an incredible 888,000 square feet of retail space - suitable for every shopaholic!
The fountain is inside the mall and while it’s actually based in the basement, the top of the fountain can be seen from ground level.
Around the outside of the fountain itself is the Fountain Terrace. This is circle of food and drink places with flavours from all over the world. Diners can enjoy a meal or just a drink while looking down at the incredible fountain.
Why the Link to Wealth?
There are a few reasons why this fountain was named the Fountain of Wealth. In the beautiful Chinese culture, flowing water is known as a symbol of prosperity and vitality.
It’s bronze ring design is actually a symbol of riches, although not wealth in a monetary sense. The design is based on the Mandala which is a representation of unity and is meant to represent the cultural tolerance and togetherness that Singapore has.
The fountain is actually switched off during set times in the day and visitors to the shopping centre can actually get into the fountain itself and walk around picking up coins for luck.
And there is a superstition that if you visit the mall and walk the all the way around the fountain’s base three times while touching the water the whole time, it will bring you some good luck. Maybe you’re not superstitious but if you’re in Singapore it might just be worth visiting this amazing fountain and trying it out for yourself. You may just love it enough to get an outdoor fountain of your own!
The Grand Fountain of Nations at Disney’s Epcot
Everyone who has grown up watching Disney films can understand the thrill of stepping into a Disney World Resort. Nothing beats the excitement of seeing your well-loved, fairytale characters coming to life, all blushing and glowing in their gowns, all draped in their best costumes, all smiling and waving into the crowd. More than that, there's also the opportunity to see lifelike monuments and architectures, all drizzled with the same Disney magic, rising above the manicured gardens like the ones you see from the books. There are castles and pirate boats and train stations and futuristic rockets, all of which are a step away from each other. And the best part? You get to experience them all, right in one place, where everything feels whimsical and happy.
But more than the scenery is the fact that Disney brings together people of all ages and culture. It is a place dedicated to humans and their achievement in science as well as in society. And with this inspiration, the company built the EPCOT, a theme park found inside the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
Spanning about 300 acres, the EPCOT is the second of the four theme parks nestled inside Disney World and is often pointed as a World Fair, permanently installed inside a colorful district. Two prominent sections make up the park. One is the Future World, and the second, the World Showcase.
The name EPCOT is actually an acronym for one of Disney's dreams, the "Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow". Here, the company envisions that technologies will emerge into a city of tomorrow, where everyone—people of every nation, will gather together and live as one. The original vision here was to invite thousands of residents as a trial demography for city planning. However, that vision did not come to pass.
In order not to put Walt Disney's vision to waste, the company's production pushed through a radical vision of urbanism where it will always tie up and unify nations and innovations in one place. On 1982, the EPCOT was opened, following with the dedication of the Fountain of Nations in the International Ceremony of the Waters. Here, cultural representatives, handpicked by their own countries, gather in the place, carrying a container of water from their own nation and poured it into the fountain at the time of opening. About 25 bodies of water which represents 29 nations flowed inside the fountain, including the liquid from the Senegambia River and the Mississippi River.
To date, the Fountain of Nations hold about 149,000 gallons of water. It comes with 200 pneumatic shooters that create dancing forms that matches various music selections from your favorite Disney Soundtrack. The grand round ball, representing a great globe, is perched atop tiers of flat basins down to a pond. There are about 30,000 gallons cascading over its layered side per minute.Want to mimic the beauty of the Fountain of Nations into your own home? Install an outdoor fountain in shape of a giant globe and watch the water cascade through the round surface. Find the right size and shape from our beautiful fountain collections; browse our shop today!
- Caris Cruz
- Tags: world famous fountains
The Cheeky Tap Fountain in Menorca, Spain
If you have traveled in the romantic districts of Menorca, Spain, you may have probably seen a strange, amusing spectacle. Right in the heart of Santa Galdana, perhaps the most photographed resort in Spain, lies a cheeky fountain in the shape of a faucet, suspended on the air and is pouring a large dose of water upon the limestone rocks. This view, among the prominent features of the beach, is only one among the many similar designs spread among Europe. Who would not stop and ponder at how the water comes rushing through the faucet, while the steel accessory is mysteriously attached to no wall, no plumbing, no tank?
The secret lies at the water flowing out of the tap, not where the faucet is attached. It makes the installment appear as if it is floating in the midair without any support, as if it was magically squeezing water out of the environment, or maybe even the blue skies. Such magical view can only be made by an expert fountain designer, who magnificently imbibes the beauty of modern outdoor features, along with the many highlights of this most-visited resort.
Inside Santa Galdana are many other man-made features, such as a large waterslide for children and an aquatic park. Everything is perched atop the white sand beach, surrounded by large pine trees. Wooden bridges are installed around the area, making it appear idyllic and sentimental, providing tourist some photographic moments as they walk along the coast.
The island of Menorca, easily translated as the "smaller island", is among the many of Balearic isles hovering above the Mediterranean.
History shares that the island has once been filled with large stone monuments, left as traces of prehistoric human existence. Among the first civilizations who lived here were the Minoans of Crete, whose traditions have influenced its early demography. At the time the Romans have occupied the Hispanic islands, pirates have taken advantage of the location to plunder Roman barter.
In the middle ages, the Vandals were said to be the ones who reigned on the island, only for Menorca to be recovered in the 500s by the Byzantine Empire. It became the vassal state of the Crown of Aragon until it has been unified into the Spanish crown. Since then, the British and Spanish fleets have been fighting for the island to gain ruling. The island remained loyal to the Republican Spanish government during the civil war in the country.
Other than its rich history is a verdant treasure of natural resources. The island was designated as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 1993. It has also been approved as a member of the International Island Games Association.
Looking forward to create an outdoor space with a strong Balearic charm like the island of Menorca? Recreate your garden with a modern twist, like a contemporary outdoor fountain that will surely delight your guests! Search for water features with strong optical illusions, like a great play in the vision. For the best fountain collection, browse our store. We have many designs for you to choose from, something that will fit your playful, fun nature.
- Caris Cruz
- Tags: world famous fountains
10 Famous Fountains to Put On Your Travel Bucket List
The world is an incredible place and it is filled with natural and man-made wonders. Among these are incredible fountains and water features which have become tourist destinations in their own right.
Here we have listed the top 10 famous fountains you must visit in your lifetime. Read through and see how many you can tick off!
Surely the most famous fountain in the world, the Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy, is in the Trevi district. Dating back to 1732, it was designed by famous architect Nicola Salvi of Italy and created by Pietro Bracci. At more than 26 metres high it is Rome’s largest water feature.
For a more modern masterpiece, visit the Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas, America. These huge fountains are a performance in their own right with giant jets and colour changes set to music that play every evening. Often the most common image on a postcard from Las Vegas, these beautifully choreographed fountains are truly a spectacle.
Fontana di Tivoli
While in Italy, it would be a crime not to visit the Fontana di Tivoli which sits just outside Rome. The oval fountain is surrounded by gorgeous landscaped gardens and the backdrop to the fountain is an ivy covered carved rock surround with statues and a shaded walkway.
Fountain of Montjuic
Staying in Europe, the Magic Fountain of Montjuic in Barcelona, Spain, is a similar display to the Las Vegas Bellagio Fountains. It took 3,000 workers just one year to build the fountain which was finished in 1929. Since then, it has been added to and the original light shows are now set to music. The water jets create impressive shapes as the coloured lights play over the spray.
King Fahd’s Fountain
If you want to venture further afield, the King Fahd’s fountain in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is the tallest fountain in the world and the water spray can be seen across the whole region. Interestingly, this fountain uses saltwater instead of freshwater and it is lit up at night.
Fountain of Wealth
A shopping centre in Singapore might be an unlikely place to find one of the world’s best fountains but the Fountain of Wealth is worth the trip. At night, there are laser shows, lights and live songs to attract visitors from all over.
The Archibald Fountain is named to remember the allegiance between the Aussies and the French in WW1. It was built in 1932 and has figures from Greek and Roman literature.
Friendship of the Peoples Fountain
Russia has an entry on this list for the Friendship of the Peoples Fountain. This impressive fountain has real gold statues which represent all 16 of the Soviet Union republics. It was once used to provide drinking water but is now just a tourist attraction.
Also in Russia, the Samson Fountain is at the Peterhof Palace in St Petersburg. Nestled amongst a row of palaces and gardens, the fountain was built in the 1730s. It shows the story of the Russian/Swedish war.
This luxurious fountain in Innsbruck, Austria, is at the front of the crystal museum which belongs to the Swarovski company which is known the world over.
You may not be able to have a famous fountain in or around your home, but you can have the next best thing. There are some really magnificent water fountains you can choose from, just have a look!