Modern Garden Decor: Large Outdoor Water Fountains and their Roots

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

The primary purpose of a fountain was originally strictly functional. Cities, towns and villages made use of nearby aqueducts or springs to supply them with potable water as well as water where they could bathe or wash. Up until the 19th century, fountains had to be higher and closer to a water supply, including aqueducts and reservoirs, in order to take advantage of gravity which fed the fountains. Fountains were not only used as a water source for drinking water, but also to adorn homes and celebrate the artist who created it. p-759__67970.jpg The main components used by the Romans to create their fountains were bronze or stone masks, mostly illustrating animals or heroes. Muslims and Moorish garden designers of the Middle Ages included fountains to re-create smaller versions of the gardens of paradise. The fountains seen in the Gardens of Versailles were supposed to show the power over nature held by King Louis XIV of France. To mark the entryway of the restored Roman aqueducts, the Popes of the 17th and 18th centuries commissioned the building of baroque style fountains in the spot where the aqueducts entered the city of Rome

Indoor plumbing became the key source of water by the end of the 19th century thereby limiting urban fountains to mere decorative elements. Impressive water effects and recycled water were made possible by switching the force of gravity with mechanical pumps.

Decorating city parks, honoring people or events and entertaining, are some of the functions of modern-day fountains.

Roman Wall Fountains: Michelangelo’s Chef d'Oeuvre

Two Florentine artists by the names of Michelangelo and Ammannati designed the earliest Roman wall fountains during the 16th century. Michelangelo’s first fountain was completed in 1536 in the Piazza del Campidoglio in Rome and makes up part of the front of the Palazzo Senatorio.

A conduit from the Aqua Felice was constructed later and it brought water to the Capitol making a more lavish water effect possible. Michelangelo, however, had expected this which led to choice of a larger basin styled on the forms of the late Cinquecento.

Was the famed artist the originator of the wall fountain? Italy’s fountains definitely show the effect his designs had on the styles found there. Today, this structural look is found at the Fountain of the River Gods at the Villa Lante, Bagnaia 1, and the Fountain of the Mugnone arranged among the stairs on the primary axis of the Villa Pratolino.

Sadly, Michelangelo was destined to put his own abilities aside and combine conventional elements into fountains based on Roman styles. An original wall fountain for the top of the corridor of the Belvedere in the Vatican was commissioned to the reknowned sculptor by Julius III (1550-1555). A marble sculpture of Moses striking a stone streaming water was to be built as decoration for the fountain. Rather than building the Moses sculpture, which would take too much time to finish, an antique figure of Cleopatra was used in its place, however. Completing a new design by the famed sculptor was thought to be more complicated than placing an ancient figure above the fountain.

From Where Did Water Features Originate?

Hundreds of ancient Greek texts were translated into Latin under the authority of the scholarly Pope Nicholas V, who led the Roman Catholic Church from 1397 to 1455. In order to make Rome worthy of being the capital of the Christian world, the Pope resolved to enhance the beauty of the city. In 1453 the Pope commissioned the repairing of the Aqua Vergine, an ancient Roman aqueduct which had carried fresh drinking water into the city from eight miles away. The historical Roman tradition of marking the entry point of an aqueduct with an magnificent celebratory fountain, also known as a mostra, was restored by Nicholas V. The Trevi Fountain now occupies the space previously filled with a wall fountain crafted by Leon Battista Albert, an architect employed by the Pope. The Trevi Fountain as well as the well-known baroque fountains found in the Piazza del Popolo and the Piazza Navona were eventually supplied with water from the altered aqueduct he had reconstructed.

Look at the Advantages of an Interior Wall Water Feature

Indoor fountains have been used for many years as useful elements to create calming, worry-free environments for patients in clinics and wellness programs. Softly falling water lulls people into a state of meditation.

Faster healing is thought to be brought about by indoor water features as well.

Based on the opinions of many doctors and therapists, patients are thought to recover more quickly when these are added to the treatment plan. Those with PTSD or sleeping disorders, as well as other medical conditions, are thought to recuperate better with the soothing, delicate sounds of flowing water.

A feeling of safety and well-being is heightened, according to quite a few studies, when you include an wall fountain in your home. As humans we are naturally drawn to the sight and sound of water, both of which add to our well-being and the conservation of our planet.

The transformative power of water has long been regarded as one of two vital components used in the teachings of feng-shui. The main tenets of feng-shui state that we can achieve serenity and harmony by harmonizing the interior elements in our surroundings. Our homes need to contain some kind of water element. The best spot to set up a fountain is near your home’s entrance or in front of it.

If you are searching for a water wall that best suits your families’ needs think about one of the many options available including a mounted waterfall, a stand-alone water feature or a custom-built fountain. Having a fountain in a main room appears to impact people’s state of mind, their happiness as well as their level of satisfaction according to some research.

Build it and They Will Come: Water Fountains and Wildlife

Wildlife and pets are by nature drawn to bird feeders and water fountains. The truth is that birds require water to: drink, bathe and preen. Robins, thrushes, orioles and warblers, though not attracted to bird feeders, are instead drawn to the movement of water produced by fountains. While bowl-shaped bird baths can be uninteresting to many birds, fountains are more enticing because of the moving water they produce. Trickling fountains which spatter water have a more detectable sound, this attracting even more birds.

As dog owners will agree these outdoor fountains are a great water source for the four-legged creatures. During the sweltering summer months, dogs and cats will be outside searching for fresh water. Fountains generally require little cleaning due to their constantly flowing water, whereas birdbaths need to be regularly maintained because they easily collect debris.

Your Garden: A Great Spot for a Wall Fountain

The area outside your home can be polished up by including a wall or a garden fountain to your landscaping or garden project. Modern-day artists and fountain builders alike use historical fountains and water features to shape their creations. You can also reinforce the link to the past by including one of these to your home's interior design. The advantage of having a garden fountain goes beyond its beauty as it also attracts birds and other wildlife, in addition to harmonizing the ecosystem with the water and moisture it releases into the atmosphere. Flying, bothersome insects, for instance, are scared away by the birds congregating near the fountain or birdbath.

Spouting or cascading fountains are not the best option for a small yard since they require a great deal of space. There are two types of fountains to pick from including the freestanding model with a flat back and an attached basin set up against a fence or a wall in your yard, or the wall-mounted, self-contained variety which is hung directly on a wall. Adding a fountain to an existent wall requires that you add a fountain mask as well as a basin at the bottom to collect the water. Since the plumbing and masonry work is substantial to complete this type of job, you should employ a specialist to do it rather than attempt to do it alone.

Original Water Delivery Techniques in Rome

Previous to 273, when the 1st elevated aqueduct, Aqua Anio Vetus, was established in Rome, residents who lived on hills had to travel even further down to gather their water from natural sources. If citizens residing at higher elevations did not have accessibility to springs or the aqueduct, they’d have to be dependent on the other existing solutions of the day, cisterns that collected rainwater from the sky and subterranean wells that drew the water from under ground. Beginning in the sixteenth century, a newer system was introduced, using Acqua Vergine’s subterranean segments to deliver water to Pincian Hill. As originally constructed, the aqueduct was provided along the length of its channel with pozzi (manholes) constructed at regular intervals. During the roughly 9 years he owned the property, from 1543 to 1552, Cardinal Marcello Crescenzi utilized these manholes to take water from the network in buckets, though they were actually built for the purpose of cleaning and servicing the aqueduct. Although the cardinal also had a cistern to get rainwater, it couldn't provide enough water. To provide himself with a more streamlined way to assemble water, he had one of the manholes opened up, providing him access to the aqueduct below his residence.


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