Fountains As Landscaping Wonders Throughout the Ages

A fountain will always lure the wonder and excitement of people. Seeing the sprouting and dancing of water will amaze people of all ages, particularly the kids and those that are young-at-heart. The first appearance of fountains can be traced back up to about 3000 BC on the paintings on Egyptian tombs as they depict an enclosed home garden that have fountains. Customary Persian rug designs shows properly walled gardens that have irrigated pools and canals as depicted from those that have been found in the highlands or Mesopotamia wherein both Persians and Assyrians enjoyed fountains. The Romans created aqueducts which were very advanced during those times also enjoyed gardens and public baths that had fountains mounted on them.

Regarding the spectacle of fountains, the eastern world cannot be left out. The Moors that occupied Spain during the 14th century have been known to build pools and fountains along with lively-colored tile work in gardens such as those found in Cordoba and Toledo, including Granada. People from India built their gardens to such splendor, with fountains as their main attraction that they have been renowned worldwide. The leading examples for this are the Taj Mahal and the Shalimar Gardens. The Chinese palaces, temples, as well as their houses also had magnificent gardens that had pools and fountains of different sizes. The Imperial City in Beijing has an artificial lake including other notable waterworks. Another city that is famous for its gardens is Kyoto as it has Zen made pools and waterfalls that have been made and designed by the Zen monks.

During the middle ages, European monasteries had large gardens along with fountains and wells. They were created to improve meditation along with several rows of herbs, fruits, flowers, and vegetables. During the renaissance, palaces and villas in Italy epitomized the grandeur of ancient Rome. Fifteenth century palaces such as the Palmieri, La Pietra, and the Medici have been adorned and decorated with gardens. The villas in Bagnaia, Caprarola, Rome, and Tivoli too had gardens that were elaborately designed. These designs became more complex and grander as the baroque period approached. Spouting fountains and waterfalls have been extensively used to improve the winding lines. French chateaus in the Loire Valley had massive gardens and parks with magnificent fountains for everyone to enjoy. During the 17th century, the peak of French design and architecture made use of fountains and gardens to adorn the grand estates such as those found in Versailles.

The increase of romanticism during the 18th century had unleashed a passion in many which is well depicted in their architecture and fountain designs. Fountains and ponds that are both exotic and picturesque served as the intellectual aspect of architecture during this era. Decades later, a famous landmark, the Central Park in New York emerged.

During the modern days, the elegance of fountains has been incorporated into homes of everyday people. Gardens, such as those found in California have waterfalls and fountains that serve as their focal point. Condominium and small apartments have also incorporated this to create a natural ambience.

Malls as well as office buildings too have incorporated fountains to bring calm in their demanding setting.

Fountains can make good investments in any garden or landscape. Their capacity to infuse peace and tranquility makes them ideal during this frenzied times. You do not need to have a fountain installed to enjoy its calming feature because there are many different kinds of fountains available almost everywhere.

Baths in the Roman Culture

The Roman bath-building, which appears first to have taken its characteristic form in Campania, was a leading influence in the development of concrete construction. The range of variation, both in size and layout, is enormous, running from such vast recreation centres as the Baths of Caracalla and Diocletian in Rome, with their libraries, meeting halls, swimming pools, gardens and fountains, down to the domestic bath suites which provided the basic requirements of a cold, a warm and a hot room: frigidarium, tepidarium and calidarium. A keynote of the great public baths was their symmetrical planning around an axis which ran from the main entrance, across the palaestra, or exercise courtyard, and through the centre of the principal frigidarium and calidarium. The early fourth-century Imperial Baths at Trier stand at the end of a line which stretches back at least as far as the Baths of Titus in Rome, and which finds other provincial examples in the Hadrianic Baths at Lepcis Magna, the Antonine Baths at Carthage, and those of Timgad and Ephesus. The interiors were sumptuously decorated with mosaic floors, marble columns and veneers, and vaulted ceilings, though in contrast the exterior was usually completely unadorned.

The Hunting Baths at Lepcis Maglia, well known for the stark roofline of their concrete vaults, which survive complete, illustrate one of the many more informal arrangements of rooms. In the Forum and Stabian Baths al Pompeii and the Suburban Baths al Herculaneum, a simple range of rooms adjoined a palaestra secluded behind the shops on the street frontage. As at Lepcis, the vaulting is intact; much of the stucco decoration is preserved. We see the attractive but modest surroundings of everyday-life in all ordinary Roman town.

The baths were a notable Roman introduction to the East, where they were combined with the established functions of the hellenistic gymnasium. A distinctive feature of public baths in such cities as Ephesus and Pergamum is a large rectangular room fronting the palaestra, its walls decorated internally with columns and statuary in the manner of the theatre and nymphacum fa├žades. In many western provincial towns, the baths were second only to the forum and basilica in architectural importance, and notable bath buildings are also a feature of rural religious sanctuaries in Gaul. The city of Bath was also an important sanctuary, and unique in Britain in having, in addition to the normal bath suites, a great vaulted hall which covered the rectangular pool fed by the sacred thermal springs.

Guide to the Unseen Parts of London

First thing to do, start in Trafalgar Square and have a look at the four glass lamps in the corners, these lamps come from the HMS Victory ship. Have a closer look at the floor on the north side of the square and you will notice the imperial measurements that are laid out. Second thing to do, cross to the National Gallery and look at the mosaic in the floor, you will be literally walking on Greta Garbo. Once you leave the square, go towards the Saint Martin’s Lane and on the right side you will observe a rather narrow entrance to Mays Court.

Go in and you will find a fully preserved Georgian shopping street that has glazed bow fronted shop windows although none of them are actually working shops at the moment. When you are walking on these narrow lanes you will eventually come to bollards restricting the access to pedestrians, pay attention and you will notice a cannon from the 18th century warship which unfortunately has been broken up.

When you are walking into the Covent Garden you should check out the lamps as they still run on gas which is quite impressive. If you find yourself near the Savoy Hotel you will notice a long gas lamp – it is run on sewer gas so that the hotel’s guests won’t be bothered by the bad smells when staying at the hotel. Move towards the bottom of the street and enter a place named Embankment Gardens. Afterwards, head to the Charing Cross station and on the right side you will notice the York Watergate Stairs which is as a matter of fact where the famous Thames bank was located until they embanked the Thames.

If by any chance you are at the National Gallery, have a look into the famous Trafalgar Square and try to observe the smallest police station in all London. While you are facing the gallery, make a left towards the Pall Mall and then make a right into the Haymarket (named after the market that was there between 1657 and 1686). The market used to sell hay and straw to king Mews where more than 300 horses were kept. Turn left into Orange Street, make a stop and look at the building located on the south side, you will notice one of the oldest signs in London – James Street 1673.

On Bow Street you will find a very old police station and down the street you should look for No 4 as this is where the original court was situated. At Long Acre you should make a turn right cross over the Dury Lane and enter Great Queen St. On the left, you will notice a very imposing yet very ugly building – Freemasons’s Hall.

As you can see, there are a lot more places to visit in London that only a few people know about. This is truly one of the most remarkable cities in the entire world with literally hundreds of places to visit.