Acqua Vergine: The Solution to Rome's Water Troubles

Prior to 273, when the 1st elevated aqueduct, Aqua Anio Vetus, was built in Rome, residents who lived on hillsides had to journey even further down to collect their water from natural sources. 151432-2501__15249.jpg Throughout this period, there were only two other technologies capable of providing water to high areas, subterranean wells and cisterns, which accumulated rainwater. From the early sixteenth century, water was routed to Pincian Hill by way of the subterranean channel of Acqua Vergine. Pozzi, or manholes, were built at standard intervals along the aqueduct’s channel. The manholes made it easier to maintain the channel, but it was also possible to use buckets to extract water from the aqueduct, as we saw with Cardinal Marcello Crescenzi when he owned the property from 1543 to 1552, the year he passed away. Apparently, the rainwater cistern on his property wasn’t enough to meet his needs. Fortunately, the aqueduct sat under his residence, and he had a shaft opened to give him access.

Your Outdoor Living Area: A Great Spot for a Fountain

The inclusion of a wall water feature or an outdoor garden fountain is a great way to beautify your yard or garden design. A myriad of present-day designers and fountain artisans have found inspiration in the fountains and water features of the past. Therefore, in order to link your home to earlier times, add one these in your decor. The benefit of having a garden fountain extends 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. For example, birds attracted by a fountain or birdbath can be useful because they fend off annoying flying insects.

Wall fountains are a good alternative if your yard is small because they do not need much space as compared to a spouting or cascading fountain. There are two types of fountains to choose from including the freestanding version 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 version which is suspended directly on a wall. A fountain can be added to an existing wall if you include some kind of fountain mask as well as a basin to collect the water at the bottom. It is best not to attempt this job on your own as skilled plumbers and masons are best suited to do this kind of work.

Gian Bernini's Water Fountains

There are many famous fountains in Rome’s city center. One of the greatest sculptors and artists of the 17th century, nearly all of them were planned, conceptualized and constructed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Also a city designer, he had capabilities as a water fountain developer, and marks of his life's work are evident throughout the roads of Rome. A celebrated Florentine sculptor, Bernini's father mentored his young son, and they ultimately went to Rome to totally express their artwork, primarily in the form of community water fountains and water fountains. The young Bernini was an exceptional employee and earned praise and patronage of significant artists as well as popes. At first he was recognized for his sculpting skills. An expert in ancient Greek architecture, he used this knowledge as a platform and melded it flawlessly with Roman marble, most remarkably in the Vatican. Though a variety of artists impacted his artistic endeavors, Michelangelo affected him the most.

A Brief History of the First Outdoor Garden Fountains

As initially developed, fountains were crafted to be practical, directing water from streams or aqueducts to the inhabitants of towns and villages, where the water could be used for cooking food, washing, and drinking. To make water flow through a fountain until the end of the 1800’s, and produce a jet of water, demanded the force of gravity and a water source such as a spring or reservoir, located higher than the fountain. Inspiring and spectacular, big water fountains have been crafted as memorials in nearly all cultures. When you enjoy a fountain today, that is definitely not what the 1st water fountains looked like. The 1st accepted water fountain was a natural stone basin created that was used as a receptacle for drinking water and ceremonial functions. Stone basins as fountains have been discovered from 2,000 BC. Early fountains used in ancient civilizations depended on gravity to regulate the movement of water through the fountain. The placement of the fountains was determined by the water source, which is why you’ll normally find them along aqueducts, waterways, or streams. Fountains with decorative Gods, mythological monsters, and animals began to show up in Rome in about 6 B.C., built from stone and bronze. A well-engineered collection of reservoirs and aqueducts kept Rome's public water fountains supplied with fresh water.

Kitty-Friendly Fountains

Does your cat like to leap onto the counter when he hears the tap? Do you find him guzzling toilet water or hesitating before drinking water from his own bowl? While these actions might seem strange, in fact they are common because cats shy away from water that is not moving. In fact, they do not posses a strong natural inclination to hydrate.

Felines in the wild generally get the water they need from meats containing water. This tendency eliminated any instinct felines had to find additional water to consume. That said, domestic cats do in fact need additional water, so it is up to you to provide it. Make water easily available to your cat by installing a cat fountain.

Having one will ensure your pet has plenty of water at hand whenever it wants to drink. Fountains come in many shapes and sizes, so be certain to buy one that best fits the needs of your cat. Fountains can have constantly flowing water for freshness, or a bowl that fills up as your cat empties it.

The Different Styles in Garden Fountains

Gardens are great places to take a break from the day-to-day grind and get some fresh air and appreciate nature. There is nothing as lovely as one to relax in, something you can keep in mind when you are working to get it set up. The value of your home will appreciate with a lovely garden area, as it will boost the “curb appeal” of the property. A water feature is not the only way to improve your landscape; consider adding trees and bushes, paving your driveway, or even putting in some eye-catching statues.

A significant improvement to your garden can be accomplished by putting in a water fountain. Where you once had a basic area, you will now enjoy an outdoor wonderland. The ambiance of your garden will be very different once you install a water fountain, as the calming sounds of the water will create an oasis for you as well as for the friendly birds and animals it will entice. Before you know it, the entire garden or yard will have a new centerpiece.

The Genesis Of Garden Fountains

A fountain, an incredible piece of engineering, not only supplies drinking water as it pours into a basin, it can also launch water high into the air for an extraordinary effect.

Pure functionality was the original purpose of fountains. People in cities, towns and villages received their drinking water, as well as water to bathe and wash, via aqueducts or springs nearby. Used until the nineteenth century, in order for fountains to flow or shoot up into the air, their origin of water such as reservoirs or aqueducts, had to be higher than the water fountain in order to benefit from gravity. Acting as an element of decoration and celebration, fountains also supplied clean, fresh drinking water. Animals or heroes made of bronze or stone masks were often times used by Romans to beautify their fountains. To illustrate the gardens of paradise, Muslim and Moorish garden planners of the Middle Ages added fountains to their designs. King Louis XIV of France wanted to demonstrate his superiority over nature by including fountains in the Gardens of Versailles. To mark the entrance 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 arrived in the city of Rome

Urban fountains made at the end of the nineteenth functioned only as decorative and celebratory adornments since indoor plumbing provided the essential drinking water. Fountains using mechanical pumps instead of gravity enabled fountains to deliver recycled water into living spaces as well as create special water effects.

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


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