A Fabulous Example of Roman Artistry: The Santa Maria in Cosmedin Fountain

Remarkable finds of both Christian and pagan roots have been made by archaeologists and restorers in the area of Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Rome. The celebrated marble sculpture called the Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth) can be seen in the portico of the basilica nearby. Built in 1719, the Santa Maria in Cosmedin fountain was relatively unknown and situated far from sight making it hard to visit. Since the nearby area was gloomy and mostly abandoned, people were not particularly interested in visiting it. As part of a project to modernize the piazza outside the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, the Italian architect Carlo Bizzaccheri was instructed by Pope Clement XI to take on the job. a_532__15542.jpg The task of laying down the church’s first stones started on August 17, 1717. The first stone to be placed in the foundation was blessed and medallions bearing the images of the Blessed Virgin, for whom the church is named, and St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of water, were also tossed in.

Where did Fountains Come From?

The incredible architecture of a fountain allows it to provide clean water or shoot water high into air for dramatic effect and it can also serve as an excellent design feature to enhance your home.

Pure functionality was the original purpose of fountains. People in cities, towns and villages received their drinking water, as well as water to bathe and wash, from aqueducts or springs in the vicinity. Used until the 19th century, in order for fountains to flow or shoot up into the air, their origin of water such as reservoirs or aqueducts, had to be higher than the water fountain in order to benefit from gravity. Fountains were not only used as a water source for drinking water, but also to adorn homes and celebrate the designer who created it. Animals or heroes made of bronze or stone masks were often times used by Romans to decorate their fountains. During the Middle Ages, Muslim and Moorish garden planners included fountains to create smaller depictions of the gardens of paradise. King Louis XIV of France wanted to demonstrate his superiority over nature by including fountains in the Gardens of Versailles. To mark the entrance of the restored Roman aqueducts, the Popes of the 17th and 18th centuries commissioned the construction of baroque style fountains in the spot where the aqueducts entered the city of Rome

Urban fountains created at the end of the 19th century functioned only as decorative and celebratory ornaments since indoor plumbing provided the essential drinking water. Gravity was replaced by mechanical pumps in order to enable fountains to bring in clean water and allow for amazing water displays.

These days, fountains decorate public spaces and are used to pay tribute to individuals or events and fill recreational and entertainment needs.

Commonplace Water Elements Found in Japanese Gardens

Japanese gardens typically have a water element. They tend to be put right at the entrance of Japanese temples and homes because they are thought to be representative of spiritual and physical cleansing. Since water is supposed to be the central point of a fountain, you will find that the designs are kept very simple.

Moreover, water fountains with built-in bamboo spouts are very common. Underneath the bamboo spout is typically a stone basin which receives the water as it trickles down from the spout. In addition, it is important to the overall look that it appear as if it has been outside for a long time. People want their fountain to appear as natural as possible, so they position plants, flowers, and stones around the fountain. As you can likely deduce, this fountain is symbolic rather than just decorative.

For something a bit more unique, start with a bed of gravel, add a stone fountain, and then embellish it artistically with live bamboo and other natural elements. Before long moss begins to grow over the stones and cover them, and as that happens the area begins to look more and more like a natural part of the landscape.

Anyone who has an extensive area to work with can, of course, out in a much larger water feature. Consider adding a beautiful final touch like a pond filled with koi or a tiny stream.

Japanese fountains, however, do not really need to have water in them. Beautiful rocks, sand, or gravel are ideal alternatives to actual water, as they can be used to symbolize the water. The semblance of a creek with running water can also be achieved by placing flat stones very closely together.

The Wide Array of Outdoor Fountains

Have you ever thought about converting your garden into a haven of tranquility? Integrating a fountain into your garden provides tranquility as well as numerous powerful effects that come with having a water feature.

The flood of water sent shooting into the air by a spouting fountain is an spectacular sight to see. Large, existing ponds can have one of these built-in without much difficulty. Esplanades and traditional mansions often have one these fountains.

One of the myriad examples of an outdoor water feature is a classy wall fountain. If you are eager to include a water feature, but are doubtful because you have a small yard, do not hesitate to install one of these. Spouting fountains usually make quite an impact whereas wall features are more of an understated kind of water feature. In a very straightforward procedure, the water spills out of a spout, trickles down a magnificently textured wall only to be pumped back to the top.

Dependent on the style you have chosen for the garden, you could think about a themed fountain. In a rustic themed bungalow or garden, a traditional styled statue for your fountain could include cherubs holding the spout. think about including something bolder and distinctive for a modern-day garden. Choosing what to do is completely in your hands.

The primary trait of a multi-tiered fountain is that water streams from a number of different levels. Water flows down multiple tiers in a cascading fountain.

A substantial amount of space is necessary for an outdoor fountain, so another alternative is to install a wall fountain or a pondless fountain.

The reservoirs necessary for these types of water features are buried underground which helps you better use your limited space.

Install a Japanese fountain if you are looking for a sense of relaxation. Bamboo sticks are utilized in this type of fountain to expel the water. The repetition of water streaming into a bucket or shaped stone is one of the main attributes of this type of fountain.

An additional type of fountain is made of glass. Producing a more classical look are trellis-style fountains which feature shaped metalwork. Gardens with a lot of sharp edges as well as contemporary shapes and designs are better for these types of water features. A magnificent effect is produced when water runs down the sheets of glass. Some fountains also include colored LED lights to shine onto the sheets of glass as water flows downwards. A rock waterfall fountain (often made of imitation rock) showcases water softly cascading down its façade.

The feature which distinguishes a bubbling rock fountain is a large rock drilled with holes where pipes can be inserted into its middle. Low pressure is used to spout out the water which then bubbles and gurgles at the top. Downward flowing water appears as gentle dribble as it moves down the sides of the rock to go back to its base. This sort of fountain is ideally suitable for little gardens. Water is moved at low pressure in this type of fountain, so you can be assured knowing that it will not spray all over should the wind pick up.

Solar powered fountains have become more popular recently because they run on sunlight. The reasons for this are diverse, from the lack of wires and the reduced complexities to the decreased power bills and the beneficial effects on our environment. The varied designs in outdoor solar-powered fountains means you will not have to compromise on style.

Keeping Your Large Garden Fountains Tidy

Water fountains will last a very long time with scheduled cleaning and maintenance. It is essential to clean it out and take out any debris or foreign objects that might have gotten into or onto it. Also, algae has a tendency to build up any place natural light meets water. Either sea salt, hydrogen peroxide, or vinegar can be mixed into the water to eliminate this problem. There are those who choose to use bleach, but that is dangerous to any animals that might drink or bathe in the water - so should therefore be avoided.

Every 3-4 months, garden fountains should go through a serious cleaning. Before you can start cleaning it you need to empty out all of the water. Next use mild soap and a soft sponge to clean inside the reservoir. Feel free to use a toothbrush if needed for any smaller crevasses. Do not leave any soap deposits inside or on the fountain.

Some organisms and calcium deposits can get inside the pump, so it is best to take it apart and clean it completely. To make it less strenuous, soak it in vinegar for a while before cleaning. Build-up can be a big problem, so use mineral or rain water over tap water, when possible, to reduce this dilemma.

One final trick for keeping your fountain in top working shape is to check the water level every day and make sure it is full. Low water levels can damage the pump - and you do not want that!

Dogs, Cats and Fountains

Ensure that you take your pet into consideration when you are thinking of putting in a water feature. Your freestanding fountain may be seen as a big pool or a drinking pond by your canine. Your treasured pets will probably take well to a water element in your yard. You should consider the fact that birds might think they have found a new place to bathe when they notice your fountain so think well where you put it. If you wish to purposely entice birds, however, putting in a birdbath is an ideal solution. Setting up a wall water fountain inside your house is a good option if you want to avoid such concerns.

Dentists’ and doctors’ offices as well as manor homes are just a few of the places where you can find these types of fountains.


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