The Globe's Tallest Water Showpieces

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia has the leading continuously- running water fountain known as the King Fahd Fountain (1985). Attaining incredible heights above the Red Sea, this fountain propels water 260 meters (853 feet) in the sky.

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 second highest worldwide. ft-300__42275.jpg

Next to the Mississippi River in St. Louis, Missouri, is the Gateway Geyser (1995) which reaches third place. It propels water 192 meters (630 feet) into the air and is currently the tallest fountain in the United States.

With water jetting 190 meters (620 feet) in the air, the Port Fountain in Karachi, Pakistan makes it on the list.

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 shoots 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.

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

And at number 8, we have the the Jet d'eau, in Geneva (1951), measuring 140 meters (460 feet).

The Brilliance of Michelangelo’s Roman Wall Fountains

The 16th century saw the creation of the most ancient Roman wall fountains, the works of two famed Florentine sculptures, Michelangelo and Ammannati. The earliest fountain Michelangelo made came in 1536 with the building of the Campidoglio in Rome which was to make part of the Palazzo Senatorio's façade. A conduit from the Aqua Felice was constructed later and it delivered water to the Capitol making a more lavish water effect possible. Styled on the late Cinquecento, Michelangelo created a larger basin, anticipating the construction of the conduit.

Was the reknowned sculptor the first to create wall fountains? His designs undoubtedly affected the style 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 principal axis of the Villa Pratolino.

Regrettably, Michelangelo was destined to put his own abilities aside and combine conventional elements into fountains based on Roman styles. An original wall fountain for the top of the passageway of the Belvedere in the Vatican was commissioned to the reknowned sculptor by Julius III (1550-1555). A marble sculpture of Moses striking a rock streaming water was to be built as decoration for the fountain.

However, an ancient sculpture of Cleopatra replaced the statue of Moses because the latter would take too much time make. Completing a new design by the famed sculptor was thought to be more complicated than placing an ancient figure above the fountain.

A Short History of Garden Fountains

Water fountains were originally practical in function, used to convey water from canals or springs to cities and hamlets, providing the inhabitants with clean water to drink, wash, and cook with. A source of water higher in elevation than the fountain was necessary to pressurize the flow and send water spraying from the fountain's nozzle, a technology without equal until the late 19th century. Fountains throughout history have been crafted as monuments, impressing hometown citizens and tourists alike. The common fountains of today bear little similarity to the very first water fountains. Uncomplicated stone basins crafted from nearby material were the very first fountains, used for religious ceremonies and drinking water. Pure stone basins as fountains have been found from 2,000 BC. The first fountains put to use in ancient civilizations depended on gravity to regulate the circulation of water through the fountain. Located near aqueducts or creeks, the functional public water fountains supplied the local populace with fresh drinking water. Wildlife, Gods, and Spiritual figures dominated the initial ornate Roman fountains, beginning to appear in about 6 B.C.. A well-engineered system of reservoirs and aqueducts kept Rome's public fountains supplied with fresh water.


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