The History of Wall Fountains

During his reign (1397-1455) of the Roman Catholic Church, the erudite Pope Nicholas V commissioned scores of translations of ancient Greek classics into Latin. Making the city into the worthy capital of the Christian community was important to him, so he also took steps to beautify it. alp_gxt516__78919.jpg Beginning in 1453, he called for the reconstruction of the Acqua Vergine, a wrecked Roman aqueduct which had transported fresh drinking water into the city from eight miles away. In addition, the ancient Roman practice of marking the arrival point of an aqueduct with an grandiose celebratory fountain, also referred to as a mostra, was renewed by Nicholas V. The architect Leon Battista Alberti was instructed by him to put up a wall fountain where we now find the breath-taking Trevi Fountain. The Trevi Fountain as well as the renowned baroque fountains found in the Piazza Navona and the Piazza del Popolo were eventually supplied with water from the modified, reconstructed aqueduct.

A Smaller Garden Space? You Can Own a Water Feature too!

The reflective properties of water means it can make small spaces look larger than they are. In order to generate the optimum reflective properties of a water element or fountain, it is best to use dark materials. Night time is a great time to draw attention to the lighted, colored underwater lights in your new water feature. Eco-lights fueled by sunlight can be used during the day whereas you can use lights to jazz up your backyard at night. Natural therapies use them because they exude a soothing effect which helps to relieve stress as well as anxiety.

Your outdoor vegetation is a fantastic place to blend in your water feature. Your pond, artificial waterway, or fountain is the perfect feature to draw people’s interest. Small verandas or major gardens is the perfect place to install a water feature. The best way to perfect the atmosphere, position it in a good place and use the right accompaniments.

The Genesis Of Outdoor Fountains

The dramatic or ornamental effect of a fountain is just one of the purposes it fulfills, in addition to delivering drinking water and adding a decorative touch to your property.

Originally, fountains only served a practical purpose. Cities, towns and villages made use of nearby aqueducts or springs to supply them with potable water as well as water where they could bathe or wash. Up until the nineteenth, fountains had to be more elevated and closer to a water supply, such as aqueducts and reservoirs, in order to take advantage of gravity which fed the fountains. Artists thought of fountains as wonderful additions to a living space, however, the fountains also served to supply clean water and honor the designer responsible for building it. The main components used by the Romans to create their fountains were bronze or stone masks, mostly depicting animals or heroes.

Muslims and Moorish garden designers of the Middle Ages included fountains to re-create smaller versions of the gardens of paradise. Fountains played a considerable role in the Gardens of Versailles, all part of French King Louis XIV’s desire to exert his power over nature. 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

Indoor plumbing became the main source of water by the end of the 19th century thereby restricting urban fountains to mere decorative elements. Amazing water effects and recycled water were made possible by replacing the power of gravity with mechanical pumps.

These days, fountains decorate public areas and are used to honor individuals or events and fill recreational and entertainment needs.

The Popularity of Water Elements in Japanese Backyards

You will never see a Japanese garden that does not have a water feature. The Japanese water fountain is considered representative of spiritual and physical cleaning, so it is customarily placed in or near the doorways of temples or homes. Since water is meant to be the focal point of a fountain, you will find that the designs are kept very simple.

You will also see many fountains that have spouts built of bamboo. The water moves through the bamboo spout and collects in the stone basin underneath. Even when new, it should be crafted to appear as if it has been outdoors for a long time. People want their fountain to seem as natural as possible, so they put plants, flowers, and stones around the fountain. As you can probably surmise, this fountain is symbolic rather than purely decorative.

If you want to get a bit more creative, try a stone fountain enhanced with live bamboo and other natural elements placed on a bed of gravel. The aim is that over time it will start to look more and more like a natural part of the surroundings, as moss slowly grows over the stones.

Larger water features can be developed if there is enough open land. Popular water feature enhancements are a koi pond or any sort of small pool, or even a wandering brook.

There are different options if you do not want to put water in your Japanese fountain. Attractive rocks, sand, or gravel are good alternatives to actual water, as they can be used to represent the water. In addition, flat rocks can be laid out close enough together to give the impression of a rippling brook.

Aqueducts: The Answer to Rome's Water Troubles

Rome’s 1st elevated aqueduct, Aqua Anio Vetus, was built in 273 BC; before that, residents living at higher elevations had to depend on local springs for their water. Throughout this period, there were only two other innovations capable of providing water to high areas, subterranean wells and cisterns, which gathered rainwater. Starting in the sixteenth century, a newer method was introduced, using Acqua Vergine’s subterranean sections to provide water to Pincian Hill. During its original construction, pozzi (or manholes) were added at set intervals along the aqueduct’s channel. While these manholes were manufactured to make it simpler and easier to conserve the aqueduct, it was also feasible to use buckets to remove water from the channel, which was employed by Cardinal Marcello Crescenzi from the time he purchased the property in 1543 to his passing in 1552. He didn’t get an adequate amount water from the cistern that he had built on his residential property to collect rainwater. To give himself with a much more efficient way to assemble water, he had one of the manholes opened up, giving him access to the aqueduct below his property.

Santa Maria in Cosmedin: A Roman Water Display Worthy of Visiting

Archaeologists and restorers alike have stumbled upon a wealth of pagan and Christian relics on the site of Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Rome. The famed marble sculpture known as 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 water fountain was not well known and situated far from sight making it difficult to visit. The part of town where it was located was forlorn and uninviting which was enough to keep people away. As part of an effort to revitalize 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.

August 11, 1717 saw the start of the work to lay down the foundation of the church. The blessing of the first rock to be placed in the foundation was followed by medals being thrown in bearing the images of the Blessed Virgin, for whom the church is named, and St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of water.


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