The sound of moving water is usually associated with peace and tranquility. Visually, water fountains can evoke a variety of responses from pure, unadulterated awe to romantic ahhhs. My favorite water fountains include:
Buckingham Fountain in Chicago was built in 1927, 3 pumps housed in 875 sq. ft. combine to provide 515 horse power to move over 14,000 gallons per minute of the 1.5 million gallons in the basin through 134 jets. When the wind is not blowing the central jet shoots water 150 feet into the air and is a spectacular site.
The Fountain of Nations in Epcot at Walt Disney World was my first experience of a fountain choreographed to music and lights. During the “shows” which start every 15 minutes, 324 jets shoot water as high as 150 feet into the air. Even between the shows 30,000 gallons of water cascade gracefully from one level to another.
Fountains of Bellagio in Las Vegas…my first thought was this is the Fountain of Nations on steroids. My second thought was yep, definitely the Fountain of Nations on steroids. This bad boy consists of 1214 jets shooting rivers of water up to 400 feet in the air before the H2O molecules fall back into the 9 acre, 22 million gallon Lake Bellagio. Oh yeah and did I mention all of this is beautifully choreographed with lights to music.
Lumia and Focus at CityCenter at Aria Resort & Casino , Las Vegas…if it is possible to create a Fourth of July fireworks display with lights and water you will find it here. What the central fountain (Lumia) is able to do with water molecules is breathtaking and almost makes you miss the curved wall of water (Focus) cascading at the entrance. To fully appreciate the full visual effect be sure to go at night and leave time to go inside and see Glacia, Halo and Latisse which are columns of ice, cyclones of water and a two story wall of water.
Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy is one Baroque fountain that does not need to be fixed. Completed just over 250 years ago, the fountain has its roots dating back to 19 BC when it was the terminus to a 13 mile (21 km) part of the massive Roman aqueduct system. Today the fountain uses recycled water, but you can still drink from the aqueduct system constantly flowing from a pipe on the steps in front of the fountain.
The Gardens at Villa d’Este in Tivoli is the home to over 500 fountains which in itself is spectacular, but even more phenomenal is the fact the fountains were constructed over 450 years ago years before electricity and pumps were available. The most renowned designer of the 16th century used Roman techniques of hydraulic engineering to “power” the fountain. Of course it helped that they were able to divert part of a river and a natural spring along with a tremendous amount of elevation change.
These are my top 5 fountains. If you have a favorite fountain not listed please comment below and include a link to a picture or video. You can see more of my pictures of these fountains on my Facebook or on the ValleyCrest Flickr page.
So, who doesn’t love water fountains? Stay tuned to find out who and why.
P.S. One of the benefits I enjoy about writing these posts is researching and learning more about the subject matter. While composing these posts I learned two of my favorite fountains were designed by WET Design whose founder worked as an Imagineer which hosts a third fountain on my Top 5 list. You can see their outstanding and creative fountains on You Tube.