A Fabulous Example of Roman Expertise: The Santa Maria in Cosmedin Fountain

s-428__65475.jpg Both Christian and pagan articles have been found in by the load by archaeologists and restorers searching the area of the Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Rome. The famed marble sculpture known as the Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth) can be seen in the portico of the basilica nearby. Built in 1719, the Santa Maria in Cosmedin water fountain was not well known and located far from sight making it hard to visit. It was said that there was nothing worth seeing in this area because it was abject and abandoned making it an unfriendly place to visit. As part of a project to refurbish the square outside the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, the Italian architect Carlo Bizzaccheri was commissioned by Pope Clement XI to design a fountain. Work on the church's infrastructure started on on August 11, 1717. Medals bearing the images of the Blessed Virgin, for whom the church is named, and of St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of water, were thrown in the foundation following the blessing of the first stone.

Impressive Water Fountains Across the World

The King Fahd Fountain ( crafted in 1985) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, has the tallest consistently-running fountain on the planet. The water reaches the amazing 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 2nd highest worldwide.

Next to the Mississippi River in St. Louis, Missouri, is the Gateway Geyser (1995) which reaches third place. 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: Fountain Park (1970), Fountain Hills, Arizona - although it can reach heights of 171 meters (561 feet) when all three pumps are in use, it only reaches 91 meters (300 feet) on a normal day.

The Dubai Fountain made its first appearance in 2009 next to the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. 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, completed in 1970, launching water 147 meters (482 feet) high.

Lastly is the Jet d’Eau (1951) in Geneva, Switzerland, which measures 140 meters (460 feet).

The Demand for Fountains in Japanese Landscapes

You will seldom see a Japanese garden that does not feature a water feature. They tend to be located right at the entrance of Japanese temples and homes because they are regarded as being representative of spiritual and physical cleansing. Since water is the most important component of any Japanese fountain, the design is generally simple.

Bamboo is a widely accepted material to use for spouts and therefore often incorporated into water fountains. The water flows through the bamboo spout and accumulates in the stone basin below. It must have a worn-down, weathered look as well. People want their fountain to appear as natural as possible, so they position plants, flowers, and stones around the fountain. Clearly this fountain is much more than just a beautiful add-on.

If you want to get a bit more creative, try a stone fountain embellished with live bamboo and other natural elements placed on a bed of gravel. After some years it begins to really blend into the surrounding nature as moss blankets the stone.

Wherever there is sufficient open space, you have the option to build a more extensive water feature. Lots of people include a koi pond or a tiny stream as a final touch.

However, water does not have to be an addition in a Japanese water fountain. Beautiful rocks, sand, or gravel are good alternatives to actual water, as they can be used to represent the water. Natural rocks that are smooth and laid out tightly together can be used to produce the illusion of moving water.


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