The Original Garden Water Fountains

As originally developed, water fountains were designed to be functional, directing water from creeks or aqueducts to the citizens of towns and settlements, where the water could be used for cooking food, washing, and drinking. In the days before electricity, the spray of fountains was powered by gravity only, often using an aqueduct or water resource located far away in the nearby hills. c_077__27676.jpg Typically used as memorials and commemorative structures, water fountains have inspired men and women from all over the world throughout the ages. When you enjoy a fountain nowadays, that is not what the very first water fountains looked like. Created for drinking water and ceremonial functions, the initial fountains were very simple carved stone basins. 2,000 BC is when the oldest identified stone fountain basins were used. The first civilizations that used fountains depended on gravity to drive water through spigots. Drinking water was provided by public fountains, long before fountains became elaborate public monuments, as beautiful as they are functional. Fountains with ornamental Gods, mythological beasts, and animals began to show up in Rome in about 6 BC, made from rock and bronze. The Romans had an elaborate system of aqueducts that provided the water for the countless fountains that were located throughout the community.

The Truth About Water Elements in Japanese Landscapes

You will seldom see a Japanese garden that does not include a water feature. Since Japanese water fountains are seen as emblematic of physical and spiritual cleansing, they are often positioned at the entrance of buildings or shrines. Since water is the most important component of any Japanese fountain, the design is generally simple.

Many people also get a water fountain that features a bamboo spout.

The basin, which tends to be built of stones, receives the water as it flows down from the bamboo spout. It should have a worn-down, weathered look as well. Natural elements such as plants and rocks are often put in place around a fountain so that it seems more in line with nature. To the owner of the fountain, it clearly is more than just attractive decoration.

For something a bit more distinctive, start with a bed of gravel, add a stone fountain, and then embellish it creatively with live bamboo and other natural elements. Gradually moss begins to creep over the stones and cover them, and as that happens the area begins to look more and more like a natural part of the landscape.

Anyone who has an extensive area to work with can, of course, install a much larger water feature. Give some thought to adding a delightful final touch like a pond filled with koi or a tiny stream.

Water, nevertheless, does not have to be used in a Japanese fountain. Lots of people decide to represent water with sand, gravel, or rocks rather than putting in real water. Natural rocks that are flat and laid out tightly together can be used to produce the illusion of flowing water.

The Wonderful Santa Maria in Cosmedin Water Fountain in Rome

Archaeologists and restorers on the lookout for pagan and Christian antiquities in Rome have come across a wealth of them in the area of the Santa Maria in Cosmedin. The famed marble sculpture known as the Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth) can be seen in the portico of the basilica nearby. When the Santa Maria in Cosmedin fountain was constructed in 1719, it was off the beaten track and generally unknown as a result. It was said that there was very little to see in this area, as it was abject and abandoned making it an unfriendly place to visit. It was a this time that Pope Clement XI commissioned the Italian architect Carlo Bizzaccheri to put up a water fountain to refurbish the square outside the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. The job of laying down the church’s foundation began on August 17, 1717. The consecration of the first stone to be placed in the foundation was followed by medals being tossed in showing the images of the Blessed Virgin, for whom the church is named, and St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of water.


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