Tall Water Fountains Around the World

Known as the King Fahd Fountain (1985) located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, it is the highest continuously operating fountain in the world. The water reaches the fantastic height of 260 meters (853 feet) above the Red Sea.

Reaching water heights of 202 meters (663 feet), the World Cup Fountain in the Han-Gang River in Seoul, Korea (2002), is recognized as the second highest worldwide.

Next to the Mississippi River in St. Louis, Missouri, is the Gateway Geyser (1995) which reaches third place. This fountain is considered the tallest in the U.S. with water reaching up to 192 meters (630 feet). p_407b__11988.jpg

Next is Port Fountain (2006) in Karachi, Pakistan, where the water jets 190 meters (620 feet) high.

Fountain Park in Fountain Hills, Arizona is number 4: it can jet water 171 meters (561 feet) high when the three pumps operate at full capacity, it is usually limited to 91 meters (300 feet).

The Dubai Fountain, opened to the public in 2009, is located next to the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. It performs every 1/2 hour to previously recorded music and propels water up to 73 meters (240 feet) in height -it also has built in extreme shooters, though only used during special events, which reach 150 meters (490 feet) in height.

Number 7 is the Captain James Cook Memorial Jet in Canberra, finished in 1970, launching water 147 meters (482 feet) high.

The last impressive fountain to make the list is the Jet d’Eau (1951) in Geneva, Switzerland, measuring 140 meters (460 feet).

Outdoor Water Features Recorded by History

As originally developed, fountains were designed to be practical, guiding water from streams or aqueducts to the inhabitants of cities and villages, where the water could be used for cooking food, washing, and drinking. In the days before electrical power, the spray of fountains was powered by gravity exclusively, often using an aqueduct or water resource located far away in the nearby mountains. Fountains all through history have been designed as monuments, impressing hometown citizens and visitors alike. If you saw the 1st fountains, you wouldn't recognize them as fountains. A stone basin, crafted from rock, was the very first fountain, used for holding water for drinking and ceremonial functions. The oldest stone basins are believed to be from about 2000 B.C.. The jet of water emerging from small spouts was pushed by gravity, the sole power source designers had in those days. These historic fountains were designed to be functional, usually situated along reservoirs, creeks and waterways to furnish drinking water. Fountains with decorative Gods, mythological beasts, and animals began to appear in Rome in about 6 BC, made from natural stone and bronze. Water for the public fountains of Rome was delivered to the city via a intricate system of water aqueducts.

The Genius of Michelangelo’s Roman Wall Fountains

The 16th century saw the construction of the earliest Roman wall fountains, the designs of two celebrated Florentine sculptures, Michelangelo and Ammannati.

The fountain in the Piazza del Campidoglio in Rome, which was finalized in 1536 and became part of the façade of the Palazzo Senatorio, was Michelangelo’s first creation. The development of a conduit from the Aqua Felice to the Capitol, which allowed for a more spectacular water display, was included years later. Anticipating this, Michelangelo had added a more substantial basin styled on the late Cinquecento.

Did the creation of wall fountains begin with the famous sculptor? The sculptor’s designs absolutely shaped the future style of fountains in Italy. Today, this structural design is found at the Fountain of the River Gods at the Villa Lante, Bagnaia 1, and the Fountain of the Mugnone arranged among the stairs on the principal axis of the Villa Pratolino.

Sadly, Michelangelo was destined to put his own brilliance aside and combine traditional elements into fountains based on Roman styles. An original wall fountain for the top of the corridor of the Belvedere in the Vatican was commissioned to the reknowned artist by Julius III (1550-1555). A marble Moses hitting the rock from which water flowed was to adorn the fountain. The option of the Moses figure was abandoned, however, because of the time it would take to build it and was therefore replaced by an antique image of Cleopatra. Producing a new design by the celebrated sculptor was considered more complicated than placing an ancient figure above the fountain.


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