Visit the World’s Tallest Water Fountains

Located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the King Fahd Fountain (1985) is the tallest continually-functioning fountain in the world. The water here shoots up to a elevation of 260 meters (853 feet) above the Red Sea. p_717__37077.jpg

Coming in second is the World Cup Fountain located in the Han-Gang River in Seoul, Korea (2002) with water blasting 202 meters (663 feet).

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

Next is the fountain found in Karachi, Pakistan (Port Fountain) which shoots water up to 190 meters (620 feet) in height.

Number 4 is Water at Fountain Park (1970) situated in Fountain Hills, Arizona - it can reach up to 171 meters (561 feet) when all three pumps are running, even though it normally only hits up 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. It dances to pre-recorded music every half hour and rockets water to the height of 73 meters (240 feet) - it also has extreme shooters which reach 150 meters (490 feet), though these are only used on special occasions.

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

And finally we have the Jet d'eau, in Geneva (1951) which measures 140 meters (460 feet) in height.

The Genius of Michelangelo’s Roman Water Fountains

During the 16th century two renown Florentine artists by the names of Michelangelo and Ammannati made the first wall features in Rome. In 1536 Michelangelo’s very first fountain in the Piazza del Campidoglio in Rome, part of the façade of the Palazzo Senatorio, was displayed. The construction of a conduit from the Aqua Felice to the Capitol, which allowed for a more beautiful water display, was included years later. Michelangelo, however, had predicted this which led to use of a larger basin styled on the forms of the late Cinquecento.

Did the introduction of wall fountains begin with the famous sculptor? His designs undoubtedly inspired the style of fountain which dominates throughout Italy. Additional examples of this sort of structure can be seen in the Fountain of the River Gods at the Villa Lante, Bagnaia 1, and the Fountain of the Mugnone which is located between flights of stairs on the central 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. Julius III (1550-1555) decided to have a fountain erected at the top of the Belvedere in the Vatican and instructed the Florentine artist to design a special wall fountain. The fountain was to be adorned with a marble depiction of Moses hitting a stone from which water flowed. Rather than creating the Moses sculpture, which would take too much time to complete, an antique figure of Cleopatra was used in its place, however. Producing a new design by the famed sculptor was thought to be more complicated than placing an ancient figure above the fountain.

An Absolute Roman Masterpiece: The Santa Maria Fountain in Cosmedin

Archaeologists and restorers alike have stumbled upon a treasure trove of heathen and Christian artifacts on the site of Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Rome. The well-known marble sculpture known as the Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth) can be seen in the portico of the basilica nearby. Due to the fact that the Santa Maria in Cosmedin fountain (1719) was situated off the beaten track, it remained mostly obscure. It was said that there was very little to see in this area because it was abject and desolate 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 renovate the square outside the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. The job of laying down the church’s first stones began on August 17, 1717. Medals bearing the imagery 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.


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