A Short History of Outdoor Water Features

The water from creeks and other sources was initially delivered to the occupants of nearby towns and municipalities by way of water fountains, whose design was primarily practical, not aesthetic. A source of water higher in elevation than the fountain was necessary to pressurize the movement and send water spraying from the fountain's nozzle, a technology without equal until the later part of the nineteenth century. Commonly used as memorials and commemorative edifices, water fountains have influenced men and women from all over the globe all through the ages. The contemporary fountains of modern times bear little likeness to the very first water fountains. The very first recognized water fountain was a natural stone basin carved that served as a receptacle for drinking water and ceremonial functions. 6315-1502__40745.jpg The original stone basins are suspected to be from around 2000 BC. The spray of water emerging from small spouts was forced by gravity, the lone power source designers had in those days. The placement of the fountains was influenced by the water source, which is why you’ll usually find them along aqueducts, waterways, or rivers. Fountains with flowery decoration began to appear in Rome in approx. 6 B.C., commonly gods and wildlife, made with natural stone or copper-base alloy. Water for the public fountains of Rome was brought to the city via a intricate system of water aqueducts.

Water-lifting System by Camillo Agrippa

Though the mechanism developed by Agrippa for raising water gained the esteem of Andrea Bacci in 1588, it seemed to fade away not very long after. Only years later, in 1592, the early contemporary Roman conduit, the Acqua Felice, was connected to the Medici’s villa, probably making the unit outdated. The simpler account is that it was disregarded about when Ferdinando left for Florence in 1588, after the passing of his brother Francesco di Medici, to change his status as cardinal for one as the Grand Duke of Tuscany. #P# There might have been other remarkable water-related works in Renaissance landscapes in the late sixteenth century, such as water fountains which played music, water caprices (or giochi d’acqua) and even scenographic water demonstrations, but none of them was operated by water that defied gravity.

A Fabulous Example of Roman Talent: The Santa Maria in Cosmedin Water Fountain

Incredible finds of both Christian and pagan origin have been made by archaeologists and restorers in the area around Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Rome.

The nearby basilica is largely for the marble sculpture known as the Bocca della Verità, (Mouth of Truth) located in its entryway. Built in 1719, the Santa Maria in Cosmedin fountain was not well known and situated far from sight making it hard to visit. For the most part, visitors stayed away from the area because it was a sad and neglected part of the city. It was then that the Italian architect Carlo Bizzaccheri was commissioned by Pope Clement XI to build 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 infrastructure began on on August 11, 1717. The first stone to be placed in the foundation was consecrated and medallions bearing the images of the Blessed Virgin, for whom the church is named, and St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of water, were also thrown in.

Backyard Fountains: The Numerous Designs From Which to Choose

When you want to chill out for a moment and get some fresh air, a garden is the perfect spot. If you are planning to spend a lot of time in yours, it is worth the work it takes to do it correctly. Investing in a breathtaking garden is good, as it will enhance the “curb appeal” and value of your home. Experts advise adding flowers or trees, a pavement, a lovely water feature, or unique statues to enhance the overall look of your property.

A water fountain can dramatically change the aesthetics of a garden. A place of harmony and serenity will appear from what was originally just a simple spot. You are not the only one who will enjoy the serenity the sounds of the water create; you might also notice an increase in the number of birds and other friendly critters visiting. Your fountain will promptly turn into the main feature of your garden or yard.

Impressive Water Wonders Across the World

The King Fahd Fountain (built in 1985) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, has the tallest consistently-running fountain on the planet. Attaining incredible heights above the Red Sea, this fountain propels water 260 meters (853 feet) in the air.

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 2nd highest worldwide.

Located next to the Mississippi River in St. Louis, Missouri, is third placed Gateway Geyser (1995). This fountain is considered the tallest in the U.S. with water reaching up to 192 meters (630 feet).

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

Number 4: Fountain Park (1970), Fountain Hills, Arizona - although it can reach heights of 171 meters (561 feet) when all three pumps are operating, it only reaches 91 meters (300 feet) on a normal day.

The Dubai Fountain opened in 2009 next to Burj Khalifa - the world's highest building. 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.

Number 7 is the Captain James Cook Memorial Jet in Canberra, finished in 1970, launching water 147 meters (482 feet) high.

The last impressive fountain to make the list is the Jet d’Eau (1951) in Geneva, Switzerland, measuring 140 meters (460 feet).


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A Solar Energy Powered Landscape Fountain
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