Experience the World’s Most Impressive Fountains

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

Reaching water levels 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 regarded as the tallest in the U.S. with water reaching up to 192 meters (630 feet). c_077__27676.jpg

The next on the list is Port Fountain located in Karachi, Pakistan which shoots water 190 meters (620 feet) into the sky.

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

The Dubai Fountain made its first appearance in 2009 close to the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. The fountain propels water up to 73 meters (240 feet) and performs once every half hour to pre-recorded music - and even has extreme shooters, not used in every show, which reach up to 150 meters (490 feet).

Making it in the top 8 is the Captain James Cook Memorial Jet in Canberra (1970) which measures 147 meters (482 feet).

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

A Real Roman Wonder: The Santa Maria Water Fountain in Cosmedin

Archaeologists and restorers alike have stumbled upon a treasure trove of pagan and Christian artifacts on the grounds of Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Rome. The Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth} is a recognized marble sculpture situated at the entrance of the nearby basilica. Due to the fact that the Santa Maria in Cosmedin fountain (1719) was situated off the beaten track, it remained mostly unknown. For the most part, visitors stayed away from the area because it was a bleak and deserted part of the city.

It was then that the Italian architect Carlo Bizzaccheri was instructed by Pope Clement XI to erect a water fountain in the square outside the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin in an effort to make the area more popular. Work on the church's foundation commenced on on August 11, 1717. After blessing of the first stone, medals with 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 into the foundation.

The Roman Wall Fountains of Michelangelo

During the 16th century two famous Florentine sculptors by the names of Michelangelo and Ammannati made the first wall features in Rome. In 1536 Michelangelo’s earliest fountain in the Piazza del Campidoglio in Rome, part of the façade of the Palazzo Senatorio, was unveiled. The development of a conduit from the Aqua Felice to the Capitol, which allowed for a more spectacular water display, was included years later. Styled on the late Cinquecento, Michelangelo built a larger basin, anticipating the construction of the conduit.

Was the well-known sculptor the first to design wall fountains? His designs undoubtedly affected the type of fountain which predominates throughout Italy. Today, this structural look 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 main axis of the Villa Pratolino.

Rather than creating fountains based on his own genius, Michelangelo was fated to integrating classical elements into Roman-styled structures. A new fountain at the top of the Belvedere in the Vatican was commissioned by Julius III (1550-1555) and it fell to the great artist to design a unique structure. The fountain was to be adorned with a marble figure of Moses hitting a stone from which water flowed. 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. It was thought easier to use a traditional piece of art above the fountain rather than have the illustrious artist design a totally new figure.


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