Public Water Fountains Found in Historical Documents

As originally developed, fountains were crafted to be practical, guiding water from streams or aqueducts to the residents of cities and settlements, where the water could be utilized for cooking food, washing, and drinking. In the days before electrical power, the spray of fountains was driven by gravity only, commonly using an aqueduct or water resource located far away in the surrounding hills. The elegance and spectacle of fountains make them ideal for traditional monuments. p-576__72962.jpg When you see a fountain at present, that is certainly not what the first water fountains looked like. Designed for drinking water and ceremonial functions, the first fountains were basic carved stone basins. Stone basins as fountains have been recovered from 2,000 B.C.. The earliest civilizations that made use of fountains relied on gravity to force water through spigots. These original water fountains were created to be functional, commonly situated along reservoirs, streams and rivers to provide drinking water. Fountains with ornate decoration started to show up in Rome in about 6 B.C., normally gods and creatures, made with stone or copper-base alloy. A well-designed collection of reservoirs and aqueducts kept Rome's public water fountains supplied with fresh water.

Michelangelo’s Roman Water Fountains

During the 16th century two celebrated Florentine sculptors by the names of Michelangelo and Ammannati designed the first wall features in Rome. 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. Constructed some years later, a conduit from the Aqua Felice was added which brought water into the Capitol allowing a greater water display.

Michelangelo had anticipated this, however, and built a bigger basin styled on the art of the late Cinquecento.

Did the introduction of wall fountains begin with the famed sculptor? His designs undoubtedly influenced the design of fountain which predominates 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 stairway on the main axis of the Villa Pratolino, are other examples of this style.

Michelangelo’s unique talent was put aside because he was forced to design fountains combining classical elements and a Roman style. Julius III (1550-1555) decided to have a fountain erected at the top of the Belvedere in the Vatican and instructed the Florentine artist to design a special wall fountain. The fountain was to be adorned with a marble sculpture of Moses hitting a stone from which water flowed. However, an ancient figure of Cleopatra replaced the statue of Moses because the latter would take too much time make. Creating a new design by the celebrated sculptor was considered more complicated than placing an ancient figure above the fountain.

Water Fountains: The Minoan Civilization

Various sorts of conduits have been found through archaeological digs on the isle of Crete, the cradle of Minoan civilization. These were used to furnish cities with water as well as to reduce flooding and get rid of waste. They were for the most part created from terracotta or stone. Whenever prepared from clay, they were usually in the format of canals and spherical or rectangle-shaped pipes. Among these were terracotta piping that were U-shaped or a shortened, cone-like shape which have just showed up in Minoan culture. Terracotta pipelines were installed underneath the flooring at Knossos Palace and utilized to distribute water. Along with circulating water, the clay pipes of the Minoans were also used to amass water and store it. In order to make this possible, the pipelines had to be designed to handle: Below ground Water Transportation: This particular system’s invisible nature may mean that it was originally planned for some sort of ritual or to circulate water to restricted communities. Quality Water Transportation: Some scholars believe that these pipelines were utilized to develop a separate distribution technique for the residence.


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