Modern Garden Decoration: 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 drinkable water, as well as for decorative purposes.

The central purpose of a fountain was originally strictly functional. Water fountains were linked to a spring or aqueduct to provide potable water as well as bathing water for cities, townships and villages. 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 the power of gravity. Fountains were not only used 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 utilized by Romans to beautify their fountains. During the Middle Ages, Muslim and Moorish garden designers included fountains in their designs to mimic the gardens of paradise. To show his prominence over nature, French King Louis XIV included fountains in the Garden of Versailles. To mark the entrance of the restored Roman aqueducts, the Popes of the 17th and 18th centuries commissioned the construction of baroque style fountains reference in the spot where the aqueducts arrived in the city of Rome

Indoor plumbing became the main source of water by the end of the 19th century thereby restricting urban fountains to mere decorative elements. The creation of special water effects and the recycling of water were 2 things made possible by swapping gravity with mechanical pumps.

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

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