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The Genesis Of Fountains

The incredible construction of a fountain allows it to provide clean water or shoot water high into air for dramatic effect and it can also serve as an excellent design feature to complement your home.

Pure functionality was the original role of fountains. Cities, towns and villages made use of nearby aqueducts or springs to supply them with drinking water as well as water where they could bathe or wash. Until the late nineteenth, century most water fountains functioned using the force of gravity to allow water to flow or jet into the air, therefore, they needed a source of water such as a reservoir or aqueduct located higher than the fountain. Artists thought of fountains as amazing additions to a living space, however, the fountains also served to supply clean water and celebrate the artist responsible for creating it. The main materials used by the Romans to create their fountains were bronze or stone masks, mostly illustrating animals or heroes. During the Middle Ages, Muslim and Moorish garden designers included fountains in their designs to re-create the gardens of paradise. Fountains enjoyed a considerable role in the Gardens of Versailles, all part of French King Louis XIV’s desire to exercise his power over nature. Seventeen and 18 century Popes sought to laud their positions by including decorative baroque-style fountains at the point where restored Roman aqueducts arrived into the city.

The end of the nineteenth century saw the rise in usage of indoor plumbing to supply drinking water, so urban fountains were relegated to strictly decorative elements. Impressive water effects and recycled water were made possible by switching the force of gravity with mechanical pumps.

Modern fountains are used to adorn public spaces, honor individuals or events, and enhance recreational and entertainment events.

The Public Fountains

Villages and communities relied on practical water fountains to conduct water for cooking, washing, and cleaning up from nearby sources like ponds, channels, or springs. A source of water higher in elevation than the fountain was needed to pressurize the flow and send water squirting from the fountain's nozzle, a system without equal until the late nineteenth century. Inspirational and impressive, large water fountains have been designed as monuments in nearly all civilizations.Public Fountains 660902712.jpg When you see a fountain today, that is certainly not what the very first water fountains looked like. Crafted for drinking water and ceremonial functions, the 1st fountains were very simple carved stone basins. The oldest stone basins are thought to be from around 2000 B.C.. Gravity was the energy source that controlled the earliest water fountains. Drinking water was supplied by public fountains, long before fountains became decorative public monuments, as attractive as they are practical. Fountains with ornate decoration started to show up in Rome in about 6 B.C., normally gods and wildlife, made with natural stone or copper-base alloy. A well-designed collection of reservoirs and aqueducts kept Rome's public fountains supplied with fresh water.Back Story Garden Fountains 800088564.jpg

Back Story of Garden Fountains

Hundreds of classic Greek records were translated into Latin under the authority of the scholarly Pope Nicholas V, who ruled the Roman Catholic Church from 1397 to 1455. It was imperative for him to embellish the city of Rome to make it worthy of being called the capital of the Christian world. In 1453 the Pope instigated the rebuilding of the Aqua Vergine, an historic Roman aqueduct which had carried fresh drinking water into the city from eight miles away. A mostra, a monumental celebratory fountain built by ancient Romans to mark the point of arrival of an aqueduct, was a custom which was restored by Nicholas V. The architect Leon Battista Alberti was directed by the Pope to put up a wall fountain where we now find the Trevi Fountain. The Trevi Fountain as well as the renowned baroque fountains found in the Piazza del Popolo and the Piazza Navona were eventually supplied with water from the modified aqueduct he had rebuilt.