The First Outdoor Water Features

As initially developed, fountains were designed to be functional, guiding water from creeks or reservoirs to the residents of cities and settlements, where the water could be used for cooking, cleaning, and drinking. In the days before electric power, the spray of fountains was powered by gravity alone, commonly using an aqueduct or water source located far away in the nearby hills. aq_78208__93962.jpg Striking and impressive, prominent water fountains have been constructed as monuments in many civilizations. If you saw the very first fountains, you wouldn't recognize them as fountains. A natural stone basin, crafted from rock, was the 1st fountain, utilized for holding water for drinking and religious functions. The original stone basins are suspected to be from around 2000 B.C.. The earliest civilizations that utilized fountains depended on gravity to force water through spigots. These ancient fountains were designed to be functional, often situated along reservoirs, creeks and waterways to supply drinking water. Fountains with embellished Gods, mythological monsters, and animals began to appear in Rome in about 6 BC, crafted from rock and bronze. Water for the open fountains of Rome arrived to the city via a intricate system of water aqueducts.

The Many Construction Materials of Garden Fountains

Garden fountains today are commonly made from metal, though you can find them in other materials too. Metallic fountains, with their clean lines and sculptural accents, exist in in a variety of metals and can accommodate any style or budget. It is essential that your landscape design reflects the style of your residence.

A common choice today is copper, and it is used in the designing of many sculptural garden fountains. Copper is appropriate for many fountain styles, including tabletop and cascade water fountains, and can be put inside or outside - making it a great option. If you opt to go with copper, your fountain can be any style from fun and whimsical to modern.

Brass water fountains are also common, though they tend to have a more traditional look than copper ones. Although it is not the most modern, the creatures and sculptural features you find on fountains are commonly made of brass, thus making them very popular.

Most consumers today see stainless steel as the most modern choice. A cutting-edge steel design will quickly increase the value of your garden as well as the feeling of peacefulness. As with all fountains, you can get any size you choose.

Fiberglass is a widely used material for fountains because you can get the look and feel of metal at a much lower price, and it is lighter and easier to move than metal. Keeping a fiberglass water fountain clean and working properly is quite simple, another aspect consumers love.

Water Transport Strategies in Ancient Rome

Prior to 273, when the 1st elevated aqueduct, Aqua Anio Vetus, was constructed in Rome, residents who lived on hillsides had to travel even further down to collect their water from natural sources. During this period, there were only 2 other techniques capable of providing water to elevated areas, subterranean wells and cisterns, which accumulated rainwater. To deliver water to Pincian Hill in the early 16th century, they utilized the new approach of redirecting the flow from the Acqua Vergine aqueduct’s underground channel. During its initial building and construction, pozzi (or manholes) were installed at set intervals along the aqueduct’s channel. Whilst these manholes were provided to make it easier to protect the aqueduct, it was also possible to use buckets to pull water from the channel, which was carried out by Cardinal Marcello Crescenzi from the time he acquired the property in 1543 to his death in 1552. It appears that, the rainwater cistern on his property wasn’t sufficient to fulfill his needs. Thankfully, the aqueduct sat under his residence, and he had a shaft established to give him access.

Bernini's Fountains

In Rome’s city center, there are countless easily recognized water features. Gian Lorenzo Bernini, one of the greatest sculptors and artists of the 17th century designed, conceived and produced virtually all of them. Also a city designer, he had capabilities as a water feature developer, and remnants of his life's work are apparent throughout the avenues of Rome. Ultimately transferring to Rome to completely reveal their artwork, primarily in the shape of community water features, Bernini’s father, a distinguished Florentine sculptor, mentored his young son. The juvenile Bernini was an exemplary worker and won praise and backing of important artists as well as popes.

Originally he was well known for his sculpting skills. Most particularly in the Vatican, he utilized a base of knowledge in classic Greek architecture and melded it seamlessly with Roman marble. Although many artists had an impact on his work, Michelangelo had the most profound effect.

Where did Large Outdoor Fountains Originate from?

A water fountain is an architectural piece that pours water into a basin or jets it high into the air in order to provide drinkable water, as well as for decorative purposes.

The central purpose of a fountain was originally strictly practical. People in cities, towns and villages received their drinking water, as well as water to bathe and wash, via aqueducts or springs in the vicinity. Until the late 19th, century most water fountains functioned using 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. Fountains were an optimal source of water, and also served to adorn living areas and memorialize the artist. The main components used by the Romans to create their fountains were bronze or stone masks, mostly illustrating animals or heroes. To replicate the gardens of paradise, Muslim and Moorish garden planners of the Middle Ages introduced fountains to their designs. Fountains enjoyed a significant role in the Gardens of Versailles, all part of French King Louis XIV’s desire to exert his power over nature. Seventeen and 18 century Popes sought to extol their positions by including decorative baroque-style fountains at the point where restored Roman aqueducts arrived into the city.

Since indoor plumbing became the standard of the day for fresh, drinking water, by the end of the 19th century urban fountains were no longer needed for this purpose and they became purely ornamental. The creation of unique water effects and the recycling of water were 2 things made possible by replacing gravity with mechanical pumps.

These days, fountains decorate public areas and are used to honor individuals or events and fill recreational and entertainment needs.

The Original Water Feature Manufacturers
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Ancient Crete & The Minoans: Wall Fountains
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A Short History of Early Public Water Features
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