JUBILEE CULTURAL ROUTES

Fountains in Piazza Navona

You are along the route: AQUEDUCTS AND FOUNTAINS. THE MARVEL OF WATER

1306L04D013
Piazza Navona
Sempre visibili.

<

DGT023383

The fountain of Neptune, with its marble basin, designed by Giacomo Della Porta in 1575 and placed inside a wider basin, remained without ornaments until 1873 when Rome City Council issued a tender for the realisation of some sculpture groups which were to be based on those on the Fontana del Moro, on the opposite side of the square. The design by the Sicilian sculptor Gregorio Zappalà was chosen for the eight lateral groups, depicting the Naiads fighting marine animals, putti with dolphins and horses restrained by cherubs. The central group, depicting Neptune battling a giant octopus, is by Antonio Della Bitta. The sculptures were completed in 1878 and match the Baroque style of the Piazza perfectly.

Picture by permission from Roma Capitale-Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali
Further reproduction prohibited

DGT023378

The Fontana del Moro is named after the central sculpture, a giant with exotic features restraining a dolphin by its tail, created by Bernini in 1655 and built by Giovanni Antonio Mari. It replaced a previous structure which was not to the liking of Pope Innocent X, who was a Pamphili and whose family palace was on the same side of the square. The marble basin, designed by Giacomo Della Porta and built in 1575 with that for the symmetrical Fountain of Neptune, was inserted into a wide base designed by Bernini. The side sculptures were done in 1870 by the sculptor Luigi Amici, modelled on the same sixteenth century sculptures that had been removed. They depict four tritons blowing into a buccina, a wind instrument, from which water gushes out, alternated by four mascarons placed between two dolphins.

Picture by permission from Roma Capitale-Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali
Further reproduction prohibited

DGT023377
www.sovraintendenzaroma.it

The fountain, inaugurated in 1651, was created by Gian Lorenzo Bernini on commission by Pope Innocent X. At the centre of a large elliptical base, the fountain is imagined to be a long rocky shoreline, with a cave with four openings supporting the obelisk that was brought transported from the Circo di Massenzio on the Appia on the orders of the Pope. The corners of the shoreline are decorated by monumental statutes of the four rivers representing the continents that were known at the time, which are identifiable by the vegetation and animals sculpted next to them: the Danube represents Europe, with a horse; the Ganges represents Asia, with an oar and a dragon; the Nile represents Africa, with a lion and a palm tree; the River Plate represents America, with an armadillo. The bronze dove with an olive branch on top of the obelisk represents the coat of arms of the Papal family. The marvellous ensemble celebrates the triumph of the Church worldwide.

Picure by permission from Roma Capitale-Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali
Further reproduction prohibited

How to get the step: Fountains in Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona, 00186 Roma, Italy

Directions

Find your current position or insert your starting address

localizzazione
Distance Units
Avoid

Search the steps near you

GPS location and distance parameters are required