A Concise History of Garden Water Features

As originally developed, water fountains were crafted to be practical, guiding water from creeks or reservoirs to the citizens of cities and settlements, where the water could be used for cooking food, cleaning, and drinking. p-757__48069.jpg Gravity was the power supply of water fountains up until the end of the nineteenth century, using the potent power of water traveling downhill from a spring or creek to squeeze the water through valves or other outlets. Commonly used as monuments and commemorative edifices, water fountains have impressed men and women from all over the globe all through the ages. When you encounter a fountain nowadays, that is definitely not what the very first water fountains looked like. Simple stone basins sculpted from nearby material were the very first fountains, used for religious ceremonies and drinking water. Pure stone basins as fountains have been found from 2000 B.C.. Early fountains used in ancient civilizations depended on gravity to manipulate the movement of water through the fountain. Situated near aqueducts or creeks, the practical public water fountains furnished the local residents with fresh drinking water. Fountains with ornate decoration started to show up in Rome in approx. 6 B.C., usually gods and wildlife, made with stone or copper-base alloy. The remarkable aqueducts of Rome provided water to the incredible public fountains, most of which you can travel to today.

Modern Garden Decoration: Large Outdoor Water Fountains and their Roots

The dramatic or ornamental effect of a fountain is just one of the purposes it fulfills, in addition to delivering drinking water and adding a decorative touch to your property.

The main 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 nineteenth, fountains had to be more elevated and closer to a water supply, such as aqueducts and reservoirs, in order to take advantage of gravity which fed the fountains. Fountains were not only utilized as a water source for drinking water, but also to decorate homes and celebrate the artist who created it. Animals or heroes made of bronze or stone masks were often times used by Romans to beautify their fountains. During the Middle Ages, Muslim and Moorish garden designers included fountains in their designs to re-create the gardens of paradise. Fountains played a significant role in the Gardens of Versailles, all part of French King Louis XIV’s desire to exercise his power over nature.

The Popes of the 17th and 18th centuries were extolled with baroque style fountains made to mark the arrival points of Roman aqueducts.

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

Modern-day fountains serve mostly as decoration for community spaces, to honor individuals or events, and compliment entertainment and recreational gatherings.

Ancient Outside Water Fountain Designers

Often serving as architects, sculptors, artists, engineers and highly educated scholars all in one, from the 16th to the later part of the 18th century, fountain designers were multi-faceted individuals, Exemplifying the Renaissance artist as a innovative legend, Leonardo da Vinci toiled as an inventor and scientific specialist. He systematically noted his experiences in his currently famed notebooks, after his tremendous curiosity in the forces of nature guided him to research the characteristics and movement of water. Coupling imagination with hydraulic and horticultural expertise, early Italian water feature designers changed private villa settings into innovative water exhibits full with emblematic implications and natural charm. The humanist Pirro Ligorio offered the vision behind the wonders in Tivoli and was distinguished for his abilities in archeology, architecture and garden design. For the many lands in the vicinity of Florence, other water fountain creators were well versed in humanist themes as well as ancient technical texts, masterminding the excellent water marbles, water features and water antics.

Why Your Your Four-Legged Friends and Visiting Birds Relish Water Fountains

Anyone who has bird feeders knows that outdoor water fountains bring in wildlife. Drinking, bathing, and grooming are some of the things birds need to do. There are some birds, like robins, thrushes, orioles, or warblers, which are not attracted to bird feeders, but are interested in fountains because of the moving water. Birds are often drawn to outdoor fountains because of their flowing water rather than the standing water found in bowl-shaped bird baths. Birds hear the trickling and splashing and are even more likely to come around.

Dogs are drawn to fountains mainly because they provide drinking water. During the hot summer months, dogs and cats will be outside searching for fresh water. Also, regularly coursing water fountains require less upkeep than the still water of a birdbath that tend to get dirtier.

Gian Lorenzo Bernini's Public Fountains

There are any number of renowned Roman water fountains in its city center. Nearly all of them were designed, designed and built by one of the greatest sculptors and designers of the 17th century, Gian Lorenzo Bernini. His skills as a fountain creator and also as a city designer, are evident all through the avenues of Rome. A renowned Florentine sculptor, Bernini's father guided his young son, and they ultimately transferred to Rome to totally express their artwork, chiefly in the form of public water fountains and water fountains. An excellent worker, the young Bernini acquired compliments and patronage of many popes and influential artists. At the beginning he was recognized for his sculptural abilities. He made use of his expertise and melded it gracefully with Roman marble, most notably in the Vatican. Though he was influenced by many, Michelangelo had the most profound effect on him, both personally and professionally.

Admire the Unique Design of the Cascade Fountain at Chatsworth Garden

Providing a spectacular focal point to the landscape at the rear of Chatsworth House is the Cascade garden fountain. Twenty-four irregularly positioned stone steps reach down the hillside for 200 yards towards the house. The Cascade, also completely gravity fed, is primarily based on a 17th century French design. In 1696, this particular water fountain was built for the first Duke of Devonshire and has stayed unaltered ever since that time. The Cascade House stands at the top of the fountain where water spills downward. The dwelling, adorned on the outside with marine creatures in bas-relief, is a small-scale construction.

Water pressure to the Cascade can be increased on important occasions, meaning the Cascade House becomes part of the Cascade pageant, as water flows through conduits on its roof and from the mouths of its carved ocean creatures, just before proceeding straight down the Cascade. The music of the water cascading differs as it descends down the Cascades, offering a great and comforting accompaniment to a saunter through the gardens and created by the small difference of every step. In 2004, Chatsworth's Cascade was named the best water fountain in the UK.

The Biggest Water Features Around the World

Known as the King Fahd Fountain (1985) found in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, it is the highest continuously functioning fountain in the world. The water here shoots up to a height of 260 meters (853 feet) above the Red Sea.

The Han-Gang River in Seoul, Korea (2002), comes in 2nd with water levels of 202 meters (663 feet).

Located next to the Mississippi River in St. Louis, Missouri, is 3rd placed Gateway Geyser (1995). It propels water 192 meters (630 feet) into the air and is currently the tallest fountain in the United States.

Next is the fountain located in Karachi, Pakistan (Port Fountain) which jets water up to 190 meters (620 feet) in height.

Number 4: Fountain Park (1970), Fountain Hills, Arizona - although it can reach heights of 171 meters (561 feet) when all three pumps are in use, it only reaches 91 meters (300 feet) on a normal day.

The Dubai Fountain, opened to the public in 2009, is located next to the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. The fountain propels water up to 73 meters (240 feet) and performs once every half hour to pre-recorded music - and even has extreme shooters, not used in every show, which reach up to 150 meters (490 feet).

Number 7 is the Captain James Cook Memorial Jet in Canberra, finished in 1970, launching water 147 meters (482 feet) high.

Lastly is the Jet d’Eau (1951) in Geneva, Switzerland, which measures 140 meters (460 feet).


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