Contemporary Garden Decoration: Outdoor Fountains and their Beginnings

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

Originally, fountains only served a practical purpose. People in cities, towns and villages received their drinking water, as well as water to bathe and wash, via aqueducts or springs in the area. Used until the 19th 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. Fountains were an optimal source of water, and also served to adorn living areas and memorialize the artist. Animals or heroes made of bronze or stone masks were often utilized by Romans to decorate their fountains. During the Middle Ages, Muslim and Moorish garden planners included fountains to create mini depictions of the gardens of paradise. Fountains played a significant role in the Gardens of Versailles, all part of French King Louis XIV’s desire to exert his power over garden-fountains.com nature. Seventeen and 18 century Popes sought to extol their positions by adding beautiful baroque-style fountains at the point where restored Roman aqueducts arrived into the city.

Since indoor plumbing became the standard of the day for clean, drinking water, by the end of the 19th century urban fountains were no longer needed for this purpose and they became purely ornamental. Fountains using mechanical pumps instead of gravity allowed fountains to provide recycled water into living spaces as well as create unique water effects.

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

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