Contemporary Garden Decor: Fountains and their Roots

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

The central purpose of a fountain was originally strictly practical. Water fountains were connected to a spring or aqueduct to provide potable water as well as bathing water for cities, townships and villages. Up to the late 19th century, water fountains had to be near an aqueduct or reservoir and higher than the fountain so that gravity could make the water flow down or jet high into the air. Acting as an element of adornment and celebration, fountains also provided clean, fresh drinking water. Roman fountains usually depicted images of animals or heroes made of metal or stone masks. During the Middle Ages, Muslim and Moorish garden planners incorporated fountains to create smaller variations of the gardens of paradise. King Louis XIV of France wanted to demonstrate his dominion over nature by including fountains in the Gardens of Versailles.Contemporary Garden Decor: Fountains Roots 076390034910305.jpg To mark the entryway of the restored Roman aqueducts, the Popes of the 17th and 18th centuries commissioned the construction of baroque style fountains in the spot where the aqueducts arrived in the city of Rome

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

Nowadays, fountains adorn public areas and are used to recognize individuals or events and fill recreational and entertainment needs.

The Water Features

As initially conceived, fountains were crafted to be practical, guiding water from creeks or reservoirs to the citizens of cities and villages, where the water could be used for cooking food, washing, and drinking. To generate water flow through a fountain until the end of the 1800’s, and produce a jet of water, required the force of gravity and a water source such as a creek or reservoir, situated higher than the fountain. Commonly used as memorials and commemorative edifices, water fountains have influenced men and women from all over the planet throughout the ages. The common fountains of modern times bear little similarity to the very first water fountains. Created for drinking water and ceremonial reasons, the 1st fountains were simple carved stone basins. 2000 BC is when the oldest known stone fountain basins were actually used. The first fountains used in ancient civilizations relied on gravity to regulate the flow of water through the fountain. Drinking water was delivered by public fountains, long before fountains became elaborate public statues, as pretty as they are functional. The people of Rome began creating ornate fountains in 6 BC, most of which were metallic or stone masks of animals and mythological characters.Water Features 076390034910305.jpg The extraordinary aqueducts of Rome delivered water to the spectacular public fountains, most of which you can travel to today.

Early Water Delivery Solutions in Rome

Rome’s 1st elevated aqueduct, Aqua Anio Vetus, was built in 273 BC; before that, people living at higher elevations had to rely on local streams for their water. Outside of these aqueducts and springs, wells and rainwater-collecting cisterns were the sole technological innovations obtainable at the time to supply water to segments of greater elevation. To provide water to Pincian Hill in the early 16th century, they utilized the emerging method of redirecting the stream from the Acqua Vergine aqueduct’s underground network. During its initial building and construction, pozzi (or manholes) were situated at set intervals along the aqueduct’s channel. Whilst these manholes were developed to make it easier to maintain the aqueduct, it was also possible to use buckets to pull water from the channel, which was practiced by Cardinal Marcello Crescenzi from the time he obtained the property in 1543 to his passing in 1552. The cistern he had made to collect rainwater wasn’t satisfactory to meet his water demands. Through an opening to the aqueduct that ran below his property, he was able to meet his water needs.