A Brief History of Outdoor Fountains

The water from rivers and other sources was originally supplied to the citizens of nearby communities and cities by way of water fountains, whose design was mainly practical, not artistic. A source of water higher in elevation than the fountain was necessary to pressurize the flow and send water squirting from the fountain's nozzle, a technology without equal until the later half of the 19th century. Fountains spanning history have been developed as memorials, impressing hometown citizens and visitors alike. The contemporary fountains of today bear little resemblance to the very first water fountains. 8349-1903__50512.jpg Simple stone basins sculpted from nearby rock were the first fountains, used for religious functions and drinking water. 2000 B.C. is when the oldest identified stone fountain basins were actually used. Early fountains put to use in ancient civilizations depended on gravity to manipulate the circulation of water through the fountain. Drinking water was provided by public fountains, long before fountains became decorative public monuments, as pretty as they are functional. Fountains with ornate decoration started to appear in Rome in approximately 6 BC, usually gods and creatures, made with natural stone or copper-base alloy. Water for the community fountains of Rome was brought to the city via a complicated system of water aqueducts.

Michelangelo’s Roman Water Fountains

Michelangelo and Ammannati, two famed Florentine maestros, created the first Roman wall fountains during the 16th century. The earliest fountain Michelangelo made came in 1536 with the construction of the Campidoglio in Rome which was to be part of the Palazzo Senatorio's façade. The building of a conduit from the Aqua Felice to the Capitol, which allowed for a more impressive water display, was included years later. Michelangelo, however, had anticipated this which led to choice of a larger basin styled on the forms of the late Cinquecento.

The question remains as to whether the famous maestro was the first to design wall fountains. Italy’s fountains certainly show the influence his designs had on the styles seen there. The Fountain of the River Gods at the Villa Lante, Bagnaia 1, and the Fountain of the Mugnone arranged between flights of stairs on the main axis of the Villa Pratolino are further models of this type of structure.

Michelangelo’s amazing talent was put aside because he was compelled to design fountains combining classical elements and a Roman style. 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 sculptor to create a unique structure. The famed artist was asked to design a marble figure of Moses striking a stone from which water flowed. The option of the Moses figure was rejected, 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 renown sculptor was considered more complicated than placing an ancient figure above the fountain.

Tips for Designing a Relaxing Interior or Outdoor Sanctuary

Incorporating a feng shui fountain in your living space will most surely contribute to creating a sense of harmony and serenity. The best plan is to install a garden or home waterfall. They are the best addition to your home. Position your outdoor fountain where you can see it from indoors as well.

The most attractive water fountains have flowers and plants. Choose plants that keep their beauty year-round. The area will be further improved with small touches like art, a fire pit, or interesting stones.


Where are the Planet's Most Impressive Fountains?
And at number 8, we have the the Jet d'eau, in Geneva (1951), measuring 140 meters (460 feet). read more
Making the Ideal Sanctuary Inside or Outside
Make sure to include some pretty flowers and plants, as they complement any water fountain. The best idea is to add some plants which stay beautiful no matter what the season. Your fountain can be... read more
Creating the Perfect Sanctuary Indoors or Outside
Plants and flowers are also essential for the most striking water fountains. Look for plant types that blossom year-round. The area will be further enhanced with small adornments like art, a fire pit, or interesting stones. read more