Essential Travel Experience #49 – Gather around a Fountain

    There is something mystical about water. We are fascinated by waterfalls (see ETE #29); we love to relax by the ocean shore, listening to the waves lapping at the beach or rocks; we can sit by a river or stream for hours. So it is with fountains. We enjoy gathering around them, frolicking in them, if possible, or just relaxing in their vicinity.

      Fountains seem to be a mainstay in cities, towns, and villages. They are often found in squares or parks where people tend to congregate. Some are dramatic and incredibly detailed; others are rather plain, almost functional, but they always delight.

     Here are some fountains that we have sampled around the world. Some are famous; some are obscure; but all are enticing and attractive.

    Perhaps the most famous fountain in the world is the Trevi Fountain, in Rome, Italy, where the movie, “Three Coins in the Fountain” took place.

Trevi Fountain

Also in Rome, in my favorite square, the Piazza Navona, is the famous Fountain of the Four Rivers, done by Bernini.

Bernini's Four Rivers

At the base of the Spanish Steps, a major gathering place in Rome, the Boat Fountain attracts spectators.

Spanish Steps

   Another spectacular fountain in Europe can be found in Madrid, in the Plaza de Cibeles. The fountain pictures the Roman goddess, Ceres, being pulled in a chariot by lions. Its backdrop is a stunning building which is actually a post office.

Cibeles Fountain, Madrid

  Salzburg, the city of Mozart, is graced with Mirabell Palace, and its grounds contain a fountain featured in the movie, “The Sound of Music.” Its backdrop is the white castle, Hohensalzburg.

Mirabell Gardens

Also in Salzburg is this fountain in Mozartplatz (Mozart Square).

A Fountain in Salzburg

 Berne, Switzerland, has some unusual fountains, like this one.

Lee at a Fountain in Berne

 Trafalgar Square, one of London’s main gathering places, is graced with a fountain.

Trafalgar Square, London

  The United States is not to be outdone in the fountain department. Check out this glorious fountain in Forsyth Park, Savannah.

Forsyth Park, Savannah

This fountain in Balboa Park, San Diego, is framed by the California Tower.

Balboa Park, San Diego

   The signature fountain in Atlanta’s Olympic Park is a great place for kids (and adults who don’t mind getting very wet) to splash and play. Its backdrop is the skline of Atlanta.

Olympic Park, Atlanta

Chicago’s Buckingham Fountain also is framed by the city’s glorious skyline.

Buckingham Fountain, Chicago

 The Bellagio Hotel, in Las Vegas, takes the fountain to an entirely new level, with its water ballet set to music.

Bellagio's Water Ballet

Also in Las Vegas, the Paris Hotel’s fountain is surrounded by the sights of “Paree.”

Paris Hotel, Las Vegas

In Fairbanks, Alaska, the center of town is punctuated by a beautiful fountain, siting in Goldenheart Plaza, recalling the area’s history.

Golden Heart Plaza

   San Juan, Puerto Rico, has a beautiful fountain at the end of the Paseo de Princesa.

Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

  Frequently, fountains can be found within gardens, especially those of grand, palatial residences, such as are seen in Europe. Schonbrunn Palace, in Vienna, is one mansion featuring fountains in the gardens.

Schonbrunn Palace

A simlar situation is found at Chenonceau, in the Loire Valley.



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