A Fabulous Illustration of Roman Expertise: The Santa Maria in Cosmedin Fountain

Archaeologists and restorers alike have stumbled upon a treasure trove of pagan and Christian artifacts on the site of Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Rome. Situated in the portico of the nearby basilica one can find the celebrated marble sculpture known as the Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth). bzbaw_3__98870.jpg The situation of the Santa Maria in Cosmedin fountain (1719) was not in a well-known neighborhood and was, therefore, not frequently visited. For the most part, visitors stayed away from the area because it was a bleak and neglected part of the city. It was then that the Italian architect Carlo Bizzaccheri was commissioned by Pope Clement XI to build a water fountain in the square outside the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin in an effort to make the area more popular. August 11. 1717 was the date when work on the church’s infrastructure began. After blessing of the first stone, medals with the illustration of the Blessed Virgin, for whom the church is named, and of St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of water, were tossed into the foundation.

Where did Large Outdoor 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 complete your home.

Originally, fountains only served a functional purpose. Residents of urban areas, townships and small towns used them as a source of drinking water and a place to wash up, which meant that fountains needed to be linked to nearby aqueduct or spring.

Up until the nineteenth, fountains had to be higher and closer to a water supply, including aqueducts and reservoirs, in order to take advantage of gravity which fed the fountains. Fountains were not only used as a water source for drinking water, but also to adorn homes and celebrate the artist who created it. The main materials used by the Romans to create their fountains were bronze or stone masks, mostly depicting animals or heroes. During the Middle Ages, Muslim and Moorish garden designers included fountains in their designs to re-create the gardens of paradise. To show his dominance over nature, French King Louis XIV included fountains in the Garden of Versailles. The Popes of the 17th and 18th centuries were extolled with baroque style fountains constructed to mark the place of entry of Roman aqueducts.

Since indoor plumbing became the standard of the day for fresh, drinking water, by the end of the 19th century urban fountains were no longer needed for this purpose and they became purely decorative. Fountains using mechanical pumps instead of gravity helped fountains to bring recycled water into living spaces as well as create unique water effects.

Embellishing city parks, honoring people or events and entertaining, are some of the uses of modern-day fountains.

The Varied Styles in Garden Water Fountains

A garden can be a little oasis, providing you a peaceful place to stop and enjoy some outdoor time. Even though there is a lot of work involved in getting a new one designed and made, it is worth the effort for anyone who will be using it. The value of your home will increase with a lovely garden area, as it will maximize the “curb appeal” of the property. Many people opt to add to their landscaping by putting in statues or other art, re-doing the pavement of their driveway, planting trees, or including a water feature.

The visual appeal of any garden can be tremendously improved by simply adding a water fountain. A place of balance and serenity will appear from what was originally just a simple spot. You are not the only one who will appreciate the serenity the sounds of the water create; you might also notice an increase in the number of birds and other friendly critters visiting. The rest of the garden will suddenly become just background to the beautiful new fountain.

Multi-Tiered Fountains for your Backyard

Fountains with more than one tier are very easy to find, and popular particularly in gardens. These kinds of fountains are common in Italy, Spain, and other Mediterranean nations. Public squares and building courtyards are very popular areas where you will find tiered fountains. Tiered fountains come in a wide range of designs, from elaborately carved styles to relatively basic types.

Any area can be embellished with one, although a more traditional setting is sometimes more appropriate. The fountain should look as old as the rest of the space and fit in accordingly.

Understanding Stand-Alone Water Features

Self-Contained fountains are economical and simple to install and are therefore in demand. Since all components are included with the fountain, no extra parts are required. A second meaning of “self-contained” is a fountain which comes with its own a water source.

If you are shopping for an easy-to-install water fountain for a veranda or deck, a self-contained model is definitely for you. They are also not difficult to transport from place to place.

Once you decide where you want to install your fountain, your landscaper should verify that it is not too bumpy or uneven. Lawns and gardens tend to be uneven so your landscaper will have to level the area where you want to install it. Your water feature is now set for setup and the addition of water.

The remaining step is to plug it into a socket, a solar panel, or batteries.

Anyone who does not have direct access to a water source or external plumbing should consider a self-contained fountain. While a fountain can be a focal point anywhere in a garden, many people place them in the middle. Cast stone, metal, ceramic, and fiberglass are just a few of the materials used to produce them.

A Peek into the Roots of Outdoor Water Fountains

The Roman academic Pope Nicholas V (1397-1455) decided to have hundreds of old Greek books translated into Latin. He also undertook the beautification of the city to make it into the true seat of the Christian world. Beginning in 1453, the ruined Aqua Vergine, an historical Roman aqueduct which had brought clean drinking water into the city from many miles away, underwent reconstruction at the behest of the Pope. The mostra, a monumental celebratory fountain constructed by ancient Romans to mark the point of arrival of an aqueduct, was a practice also restored by Nicholas V.

At his bidding, the architect Leon Battista Alberti began the building of a wall fountain in the place where the imposing Trevi Fountain now stands. The aqueduct he had reconditioned included modifications and extensions which eventually allowed it to supply the necessary water to the Trevi Fountain as well as the famed baroque fountains in the Piazza del Popolo and the Piazza Navona.


From Where Did Large Outdoor Fountains Originate from?
Nowadays, fountains decorate public spaces and are used to recognize individuals or events and fill recreational and entertainment needs. read more
The One Cleaning Solution to NEVER Use On Your Landscape Fountains
One final tip 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... read more
The Root of Modern Outdoor Wall Fountains
As the head of the Catholic Church, the scholarly Pope Nicholas V (1397-1455} decided to commission translations of invaluable writings from... read more
The First Contemporary Outdoor Water Fountains
During his rule (1397-1455) of the Roman Catholic Church, the learned Pope Nicholas V directed scores of translations of old Greek classics... read more
Things You Will Need for a Garden Fountain
A lot of people forget the need for an electrical socket or water source close by when contemplating where to put their garden fountain. Sometimes new owners get so caught up in the romance of their new purchase that they forget important details. ... read more
Things You Will Require for an Outdoor Fountain
A lot of people forget the need for an electrical socket or water source close by when contemplating where to locate their garden fountain. The practical... read more