A Concise History of Outdoor Fountains

As initially developed, fountains were crafted to be functional, guiding water from creeks or reservoirs to the inhabitants of cities and settlements, where the water could be used for cooking food, washing, and drinking. a-483__90444.jpg The force of gravity was the power source of water fountains up until the end of the 19th century, using the forceful power of water traveling downhill from a spring or creek to push the water through spigots or other outlets. Commonly used as memorials and commemorative structures, water fountains have inspired travelers from all over the planet all through the ages. Rough in design, the first water fountains didn't look much like present fountains. Created for drinking water and ceremonial purposes, the first fountains were basic carved stone basins. Stone basins as fountains have been discovered from 2,000 BC. The jet of water appearing from small spouts was pushed by gravity, the only power source designers had in those days. These ancient fountains were created to be functional, often situated along reservoirs, creeks and waterways to supply drinking water. Fountains with elaborate decoration started to appear in Rome in about 6 B.C., commonly gods and animals, made with stone or bronze. The people of Rome had an elaborate system of aqueducts that provided the water for the many fountains that were located throughout the urban center.

Visit the World’s Most Impressive Water Fountains

Located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the King Fahd Fountain (1985) is the highest continually-functioning fountain in the world. The water here jets up to a height of 260 meters (853 feet) above the Red Sea.

The World Cup Fountain located in the Han-Gang River in Seoul, Korea (2002), comes in 2nd place with water jetting up 202 meters (663 feet).

Occupying third place is the Gateway Geyser (1995), located near the Mississippi River in St. Louis, Missouri. Regarded as the tallest fountain in the United States, it jets water 192 meters (630 feet) into the sky.

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

Number 4: On a typical day the water is limited to 91 meters (300 feet) at the Fountain Park feature in Fountain Hills, Arizona, but it is capable of pushing water up to 171 meters (561 feet) when all three pumps are working.

The Dubai Fountain, opened to the public in 2009, is located near the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. Once every 1/2 hour, this fountain begins dancing to pre-recorded musical themes while shooting water 73 meters (240 feet) high. It also has extreme shooters, rarely used, which go as high as 150 meters (490 feet).

Jetting water up to 147 meters (482 feet) high, the Captain James Cook Memorial Jet (1970) in Canberra, Australia, comes in 7th.

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

The Popularity of Fountains in Japanese Backyards

A water feature is an important part of any Japanese garden. The Japanese water fountain is considered symbolic of spiritual and physical purifying, so it is customarily placed in or near the doorways of temples or homes. It is uncommon to see elaborately -designed Japanese fountains since the focus is supposed to be on the water itself.

Many people also opt for a water fountain that features a bamboo spout. Below the bamboo spout is usually a stone basin which receives the water as it trickles down from the spout. Even when new, it should be designed to appear as if it has been out in the open for a long time. Natural elements such as plants and rocks are often put in place around a fountain so that it seems more interconnected with nature. Clearly this fountain is much more than simply a beautiful add-on.

An alternate possibility is to get a stone fountain, set it on a bed of rock, and place live bamboo and pretty stones around it. The aim is that over time it will start to look more and more like a natural part of the landscape, as moss slowly grows over the stones.

Wherever there is plenty of open space, you have the option to build a more extensive water feature.

Think about adding a lovely final touch like a pond filled with koi or a tiny stream.

Water, however, does not have to be used in a Japanese fountain. Good alternatives include stones, gravel, or sand to represent water. Natural rocks that are flat and laid out tightly together can be used to create the illusion of running water.


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