The First Water Features recorded in Human History.

p_703__28013.jpg The water from rivers and other sources was initially provided to the occupants of nearby towns and cities via water fountains, whose purpose was mainly practical, not aesthetic. Gravity was the power supply of water fountains up until the conclusion of the nineteenth century, using the forceful power of water traveling downhill from a spring or creek to squeeze the water through valves or other outlets. Fountains spanning history have been developed as memorials, impressing hometown citizens and tourists alike. If you saw the very first fountains, you probably would not recognize them as fountains. Crafted for drinking water and ceremonial functions, the 1st fountains were simple carved stone basins. Rock basins are thought to have been 1st used around 2000 BC. The first fountains put to use in ancient civilizations relied on gravity to regulate the circulation of water through the fountain. Situated near reservoirs or creeks, the functional public water fountains furnished the local population with fresh drinking water. Fountains with embellished Gods, mythological beasts, and creatures began to show up in Rome in about 6 B.C., crafted from stone and bronze. Water for the open fountains of Rome arrived to the city via a complex system of water aqueducts.

Michelangelo’s Roman Water Fountains

During the 16th century two renown Florentine sculptors by the names of Michelangelo and Ammannati made the first wall fountains in Rome. Michelangelo’s first fountain was completed in 1536 in the Piazza del Campidoglio in Rome and makes up part of the facade of the Palazzo Senatorio. Built some years later, a conduit from the Aqua Felice was added which brought water into the Capitol permitting a greater water display. Michelangelo, however, had predicted this which led to choice of a larger basin styled on the forms of the late Cinquecento.

Did the creation of wall fountains begin with the famous sculptor? His designs undoubtedly affected the type of fountain which dominates throughout Italy. The styles seen at the Fountain of the River Gods at the Villa Lante, Bagnaia 1, and the Fountain of the Mugnone, set between the flight of steps on the central axis of the Villa Pratolino, represent other examples of this style.

Regrettably, Michelangelo was destined to put his own abilities aside and combine traditional elements into fountains based on Roman styles. A brand-new fountain at the top of the Belvedere in the Vatican was authorized by Julius III (1550-1555) and it fell to the talented artist to create an archetypal structure. A marble figure of Moses striking a rock streaming water was to be built as embellishment for the fountain. Rather than creating the Moses sculpture, which would take too much time to finish, an antique figure of Cleopatra was used in its place, however. An ancient figure was thought to be quicker to erect over the fountain than the creation of a completely new statue by the famed artist.

The Popularity of Water Features in Japanese Gardens

You will seldom see a Japanese garden that does not feature a water element. Since Japanese water fountains are seen as symbolic of physical and spiritual cleansing, they are often positioned at the entrance of buildings or shrines. It is uncommon to see elaborately -designed Japanese fountains since the focus is supposed to be on the water itself.

Bamboo is a popular material to use for spouts and therefore often incorporated into water fountains. The basin, which tends to be fashioned of stones, collects the water as it flows down from the bamboo spout. People usually make them seem weathered and worn, even when they are new. Natural elements such as plants and rocks are frequently put in place around a fountain so that it seems more interconnected with nature. Clearly this fountain is much more than simply a pretty add-on.

If you want to get a bit more imaginative, try a stone fountain decorated with live bamboo and other natural elements placed on a bed of gravel. Over the years it starts to really blend into the surrounding nature as moss grows over the stone.

More substantial water features can be designed if there is enough open land. Charming add-ons include a babbling creek or tiny pool with koi in it.

There are alternative alternatives 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 symbolize the water. In addition, flat stones can be laid out close enough together to create the impression of a babbling brook.


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