A Concise History of Early Fountains

Water fountains were at first practical in function, used to bring water from rivers or springs to cities and villages, supplying the residents with fresh water to drink, wash, and prepare food with. A source of water higher in elevation than the fountain was needed to pressurize the flow and send water spraying from the fountain's spout, a system without equal until the later part of the nineteenth century. alp_gxt686__20101.jpg Inspiring and spectacular, big water fountains have been built as monuments in nearly all societies. Rough in design, the very first water fountains did not look much like modern fountains. A stone basin, crafted from rock, was the very first fountain, used for holding water for drinking and spiritual purposes. 2,000 BC is when the oldest identified stone fountain basins were used. The force of gravity was the energy source that operated the initial water fountains. These ancient water fountains were built to be functional, usually situated along reservoirs, streams and waterways to furnish drinking water. Fountains with flowery decoration began to show up in Rome in about 6 BC, commonly gods and creatures, made with stone or bronze. The Romans had an intricate system of aqueducts that supplied the water for the many fountains that were located throughout the city.

Original Water Delivery Solutions in Rome

Aqua Anio Vetus, the first raised aqueduct founded in Rome, began providing the men and women living in the hills with water in 273 BC, though they had relied on natural springs up until then. Outside of these aqueducts and springs, wells and rainwater-collecting cisterns were the only technological innovations around at the time to supply water to spots of high elevation. Beginning in the sixteenth century, a unique method was introduced, using Acqua Vergine’s subterranean segments to supply water to Pincian Hill. Spanning the length of the aqueduct’s passage were pozzi, or manholes, that gave access.

During the roughly nine years he had the residential property, from 1543 to 1552, Cardinal Marcello Crescenzi utilized these manholes to take water from the channel in buckets, though they were previously established for the intent of cleaning and servicing the aqueduct. Reportedly, the rainwater cistern on his property wasn’t sufficient to fulfill his needs. That is when he made a decision to create an access point to the aqueduct that ran directly below his property.

When and Where Did Water Fountains Originate?

Pope Nicholas V, himself a well educated man, governed the Roman Catholic Church from 1397 to 1455 during which time he commissioned many translations of ancient classic Greek texts into Latin. It was imperative for him to beautify the city of Rome to make it worthy of being called the capital of the Christian world. Beginning in 1453, the ruined ancient Roman aqueduct known as the Aqua Vergine which had brought clean drinking water into the city from eight miles away, underwent reconstruction at the bidding of the Pope. A mostra, a monumental commemorative fountain constructed by ancient Romans to mark the point of entry of an aqueduct, was a practice which was revived by Nicholas V. The architect Leon Battista Alberti was directed by the Pope to put up a wall fountain where we now see the Trevi Fountain. The aqueduct he had reconditioned included modifications and extensions which eventually enabled it to supply water to the Trevi Fountain as well as the famed baroque fountains in the Piazza del Popolo and the Piazza Navona.

The Myriad Reasons to Add a Fountain

You can enhance your exterior area by including a wall fountain or an outdoor garden water feature to your property or gardening project. Modern-day designers and fountain builders alike use historic fountains and water features to shape their creations. As such, the impact of adding one of these to your home decor connects it to past times. Among the many properties of these beautiful garden fountains is the water and moisture they release into the air which attracts birds and other wild life as well as helps to balance the ecosystem. Birds enticed by a fountain or bird bath often frighten off irksome flying invaders, for instance.

The space required for a cascading or spouting fountain is considerable, so a wall fountain is the perfect size for a small yard. You can choose to set up a stand-alone fountain with a flat back and an connected basin propped against a fence or wall in your backyard, or a wall-mounted type which is self-contained and hung from a wall. A water feature can be added to an existing wall if you include some sort of fountain mask as well as a basin to collect the water at the bottom.

Since the plumbing and masonry work is extensive to complete this type of job, you should employ a specialist to do it rather than attempt to do it alone.

Water-lifting System by Camillo Agrippa

Although the device developed by Agrippa for carrying water attained the admiration of Andrea Bacci in 1588, it appeared to disappear not long thereafter. It could be that in 1592 when Rome’s latest conduit, the Acqua Felice, started delivering the Villa Medici, there was simply no longer very much use for the unit. Though its glory was passing, Camillo Agrippa’s planning for raising water was the wonder of its day, transcending everything crafted in Italy since the days of ancient Rome. There may have been other impressive water-related works in Renaissance landscapes in the late sixteenth century, just like fountains that played music, water caprices (or giochi d’acqua) and even scenographic water presentations, but none was powered by water which defied the force of gravity.

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