Why should you visit the Fountain of Four Rivers?

With the endless beauty offered within Rome, some attractions may fall through the cracks on your journey. The Romans’ longstanding relationship with their water is unique and ongoing, given the grandeur of their aqueducts and, above all, their fountains. The city is litter with public fountains, offering to extraordinary statues and designs which have no parallel to any other city in the world. One of the best is Bernini’s Fountain of Four Rivers, which is worth the visit during your holiday.

The Making of the Fountain

Gian Lorenzo Bernini designed the fountain in 1651. It was commissioned by the Pope Innocent X, whose family palace, named the Palazzo Pamphili, faced onto the piazza. Initially, the Pope wanted to work with Francesco Borromini, as he had received considerable funding from the previous pope, Urban VIII. However, Bernini created a model of his fountain design, and after seeing the model, the Pope was so delighted he decided to assign the project to Bernini instead of Borromini.

The Design of the Fountain

This fountain was one of Bernini’s most famous artworks in his entire career. His style was an advanced interpretation of subjects, forms, as well as the combination of media. Bernini designed the fountain with four different figures of gods, each representing the world’s four greatest rivers. The god holding the oar, is the Ganges in Asia. The statue with the coat of arms in his hand is the Danube in Europe. The river god holding the stack of coins represents the Rio de la Plata in South America. And lastly, the figure with a cloth over his head symbolises the Nile in Africa. Surrounding these marble gods are particular wildlife, each representing the four major continents depicted in the fountain. In the middle, there is an obelisk towering over the fountain. It was originally apart of the Circus of Maxentius, found in the Appian Way Regional Park.

Where to find the Fountain

The fountain is nestled in Rome’s popular square, Piazza Navona. Walk around the fountain and spot the intricate details of the structure. Enjoy the shops the surrounding markets at the square, enjoying the noises of the bustling city life bouncing off the tranquil sounds of trickling water.

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