earliest known fountain was found in Mesopotamia, and it dates back to 3000 BC.
It was simplistic in nature, consisting of a group of basins that made use of a natural spring. Similar fountains have been
found in Greek and Roman ruins. In 1499, Francesco Colonna, a Dominican monk in
Venice, published HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(The
Dream of Poliphilus), a book about a mythical world in which water, and in
particular fountains, played a prominent role. Because of the popularity of the
book, fountains began to be constructed in Venice, Florence,and Rome, as well as in other parts of Italy.
In the 16th Century, because fountains had become fashionable, the
monarchs in France, England and Austria called the Italian fontanieri to design
fountains for them, and thus in this way, fountains became popular all over
Europe. The most famous fountains in the modern world include The Magic
Fountain of Montjuic in Barcelona, Spain, Friendship of the Peoples Fountain in
Moscow, Russia, and King Fahd’s Fountain in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
the most fountains in the world, with the city boasting of over 3000 fountains.
However, since most of these have fallen into the disrepair and are no longer
in use, Kansas City in Missouri in the United States of America has the most
working fountains of any city in the world. According to the City of Fountains
Foundation, an organization based in Kansas City, there are over 200 working
fountains in Kansas City, and thus the city has taken on the moniker ‘City of
Fountains.’ However, this number is understated, since it doesn’t include
fountains inside buildings with private ownership. Kansas City traces its
fountains to two urban planners, George Kessler and August Meyer, who, in the
19th Century, traveled
Europeextensively, and, inspired by the aesthetics of Paris and Rome and other
cities in Europe, sought to make Kansas City more beautiful than it was. The
first fountain was built in 1899 on the intersection between Paseo and 15th,
though, in 1991, it was moved to another location. In the 1900s, so as to stop
sharing drinking sources with horses, and to improve sanitation in the city,
the women of Kansas City started canvassing for funds to build more fountains.
Thus, a lot of the city’s earliest fountains can be traced to this push for
improved hygienic standards.
A visit to
the city is not complete without visiting the fountains. Some of the most
popular among tourists and residents alike include the Fountain Basin at the
Nelson-AtkinsMuseum of Art which includes a bowl that goes back to 220AD and a
pedestal that was constructed in 1933, Vietnam Veterans’ Fountain dedicated to
the 461 men from Kansas City who gave their lives fighting for the United
States during the Vietnam War, Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Fountain that
was completed in 2000, Meyer-Circle Sea Horse Fountain that was constructed in
the 18th Century and whose structure includes three sea horses from
mythical traditions, and the J. C. Nichols Memorial Fountain which dates back
City, Missouri has the most fountains of any city.