Water Fountains – A Brief Background
The word fountain came from the Latin term fons or fontis which literally means a source or spring. The history of water fountains dates back from thousands of years ago. Originally, these water features were used to supply drinking and bathing water for citizens, and from there they evolved into ornamental pieces used to beautify different indoor and outdoor spaces. Although the designs and functions of fountains significantly changed over the years, their appeal has never faded and they are still considered as one of the greatest legacies of antiquity.
Water fountains were uses from as far back as third millennium B.C. in Mesopotamia, which is now known as Iraq. Based from the ruins found from this period, fountains of that time were made from solid rocks and were situated near streams or rivers. During the ancient times, the need for fountains was dependent on the location of the water supply of a certain civilization. For instance, ancient Egyptians had deviceful water system that allowed them to hoist water from Nile River easily, thereby reducing their need for excessive fountains.
Meanwhile, ancient Romans and Greeks brought their water down to their cities from the mountains by using aqueducts. However, as their water sources were way above their cities’ locations, they needed fountains to properly supply the drinking and bathe water needs of their citizens. As Romans are known for their sophisticated water systems, they are the ones who first revolutionized the art and technology of fountain designs. Their ingenuity can be seen from the ruins of numerous free-standing fountains and wall water fountain features they installed within the confines of their city.
During the Renaissance and Baroque ages, the use of wall water fountain, and other fountain types for that matter, had rapidly spread in Europe and other nearby continents. It was during those periods when the functions of fountains dramatically transformed from mere drinking and bathe water reservoirs into luxurious interior and exterior furnishings. Fountains were transformed into expressive art forms as seen from the allegorical figures they exemplify. Sculptures became the principal elements of fountain designs in the Renaissance and Baroque eras.
When 20th century arrived, fountains were freed entirely from the need to be primary water sources. The 20th century also saw the rise of new fountain materials and technologies. From plain and lifeless looking fountain designs, it is now possible to see copper fountain finishes that comes with amplified music and jets of water controlled by a computer program. Basically, the innovations in technology allow the introduction of a whole new profusion of fountain designs.
Water fountains have been important water features for many civilizations. It cannot be denied that they are among history’s finest legacies. More than their decorative prowess however, fountains nowadays are more appreciated for their stress-relieving capabilities. With this ability, it is no wonder that many home and establishment owners utilize such water features inside their spaces.