From Rome to London to Vienna and beyond…

Fountains are a symbol of joy and peace.

By Harlen Troost

There’s just something about fountains that I find intriguing. Maybe I’m a romantic, recalling one of my favorite movies “Three Coins in a Fountain.” And of course, the obligatory tossing of a coin!

Seems that with every one of my destinations, I discover fountains that inspire me. And the rich history of how they were commissioned and when. Fascinating pieces of art!

The earliest examples of fountains are found in Mesopotamia, dating from around 3000 BC. It consisted of a series of basins which made use of a natural spring. A similar system is found in Greek and Roman remains. Mechanically-operated fountains became familiar during the 15th century in Italy.

We look at fountains today as art forms… exciting examples of artistic creativity, with a function. Take a look at these beautiful fountains from around the world…

Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy.

Trevi Fountain in Rome is absolutely breathtaking! Designed by Italian architect Nicola Salvi in 1732 and completed by Giuseppe Pannini. Considered to be the most famous fountain in the world! Featured in the movie “”Three Coins in the Fountain.” Frank Sinatra, although uncredited, sang this song.

If you have a chance to visit Trevi Fountain, be sure to toss a coin. There is a protocol: toss the coin with your right hand over your left shoulder (or left hand over your right shoulder) with your back to the fountain. According to tradition, you will be rewarded with a return journey to Rome!

Piazza, Navona

What an outstanding, iconic fountain! The “Fountain of Four Rivers” was created in 1651 by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. One of the important features is the Obelisk of Domitan, reaching a height of almost 35 meters (115 ft). Bernini was one of the most celebrated sculptors in history.

The design was inspired by and symbolizes the world’s four greatest rivers: the Nile, the Ganges, the Danube and the Rio de la Plata. Each statue also represents one of the four continents that were known at the time.



Fountain in Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere


Believed to be the oldest fountain in Rome, possibly back to the eighth century.  The fountain was reconstructed between 1499 and 1500, commissioned to Donato Bramante, the architect of St. Peter’s Basilica. Notice the four carved stone wolf heads.


The Gold Fountains of Peterhof in St. Petersburg.

The Grand Cascade.  Comprising 64 different fountains, and over 200 bronze statues, bas-reliefs, and other decorations. The Grand Palace is behind it, which offers an incredible view from visitors arriving by sea to Peterhof.


Porto, Portugal – Fonte dos Leoes



This spectacular fountain, aptly named “Fountain of the Lions” was built in the 19th century by French company Compagnie Générale des Eaux pour l’Etranger.

Interestingly, it is a copy of the fountain in the Town Hall Square of Leicester, England.



Fountain at the Tower Bridge, London, England

This beautiful fountain, “The Girl With a Dolphin” designed by artist David Wynne in 1973. Located at the Northeast side of the Tower Bridge in London.

A brilliant and respected sculptor, Wynne is also known for his bronze sculpture of the Beatles in 1964.





Diana Statue in Bushy Park, London

The Diana Statue.

Featuring a bronze statue of a goddess, this stunning fountain can be found in Bushy Park. Set on a marble and stone fountain, surrounded by bronzes of four boys, four water nymphs and four shells.

Although the credit for the original sculpturor has been vigorously disputed, it seems that it was the work of Hubert Le Sueur in 1637.







Fountain at Buckingham Palace, London, England


The Victoria Memorial is a monument to Queen Victoria, located at the end of The Mall in London, and designed and executed by the sculptor (Sir) Thomas Brock.

Designed in 1901, it was unveiled on 16 May 1911, though it was not completed until 1924.







Neptune Fountain, Vienna


Designed as the crowning element of the Great Parterre, and sited at the foot of the hill behind the palace is the Neptune Fountain, which was conceived as part of the overall design of the gardens and park commissioned by Maria Theresa in the 1770s.


As time allows, I’ll continue to add to my collection of “fountain destinations” and I promise to share these with you. And in case you’re wondering, my sidekick Tulip Magnolia Blossom Troost loves to swim in every fountain she sees!

Your Spencer Connoisseur


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