Friday, March 13, 2015

Around the world in 30 fountains (Part 2)

This is the second part of my post about the most beautiful or interesting fountains from around the world.

The criteria for selecting the fountains presented in this post are different – beautiful fountains, quirky fountains with distinctive features and the quality of images. While I searched for the images of fountains in my image-collections, I realised that in some countries, especially in Asia and Africa, fountains are not very common, while Europe seems to be full of them.

This post is about my own pictures and though I have visited some countries and some cities, I have not visited lots of places. Thus, you may find many countries missing from this post.

Fountain 15: Gurgaon, India

The only fountains from India in this post are from a Disney-world kind of make-believe place called “Kingdom of Dreams” in Gurgaon, a city that has come up mainly in the last 10 years and is an ode to the arrival of globalization in India.

Most beautiful fountains - Gurgaon, India - Images by Sunil Deepak

Most beautiful fountains - Gurgaon, India - Images by Sunil Deepak

I did go through my huge archive of images from India but I did not find other significant images of fountains that I liked. The only fountains that came close to what I was looking for, were those in the central canal in front of Taj Mahal, but I think that those images were much about Taj Mahal as a monument and the fountains there were just accessories.

I remember that Rajiv Park in Connaught Place in Delhi had a nice fountain but it was removed to make way for the new Rajiv Chowk metro station. I also remember the beautiful Flora fountain in Mumbai, but I had seen it before I was bitten by the photography bug, so I had no images of it.

Fountain 16: Dublin, Ireland

The 4 angels fountain is right in front of the entrance to the Trinity College and is part of the Davis monument. The angels of this fountain look like slightly hunched-backed vultures wearing pillow-cover like long gowns, holding long trumpets in their hands. This description may not sound like praise but in reality, the result is very distinctive and pleasant.

Most beautiful fountains - Dublin, Ireland - Images by Sunil Deepak

Fountain 17: Dublin, Ireland

The second fountain from Dublin in this post is a rather unassuming fountain next to the old manor building that housed the mayor of the city. The background to this fountain is the bar of a restaurant done in modernist key. The final result is a fountain in classical style against a glass-and-clean lines kind of place, that is very nice (though I don’t think that my picture below, clicked after I had imbibed some glasses of nice wine, does justice to it).

Most beautiful fountains - Dublin, Ireland - Images by Sunil Deepak

Fountain 18: Bologna, Italy

The next six fountains are from Italy, that can be called the world capital of fountains. Actually, I think that I could have made a separate post with 30 fountains, all from Italy.

The first Italian fountain in this post is from the wonderful Neptune square in the centre of Bologna. When this fountain was built by Giambologna, the city was under the Vatican and the Pope’s delegate was scandalized by the burly Neptune flaunting his genitals. It is against the public morality, let us put this statue and the fountain in somewhere else and not in this important place, the church had suggested, but the people of Bologna had started protesting against this decision. All right, let us have a public referendum, the church had proposed. In the referendum, majority of people voted to have the Neptune statue in the city centre. And so there it is.

Most beautiful fountains - Italy, Bologna - Images by Sunil Deepak

However, for me the most quirky part of this fountain is underneath the nude Neptune – the four nude female figures sitting around the central column, who are squeezing their breasts and water comes out from their nipples. The two images presented below show these mermaids. I especially like the second image below, where part of the water has frozen into ice.

Most beautiful fountains - Italy, Bologna - Images by Sunil Deepak

Most beautiful fountains - Italy, Bologna - Images by Sunil Deepak

Fountain 19: Bologna, Italy

The next Italian fountain is also from the city centre of Bologna. It is inside the courtyard of Volta palace that houses the archaeological museum of Bologna. It is a simple fountain with plants growing all around and in the middle, a small jet of water rises up while a child looks at it with wonder and joy with his right leg rising up as if to test the water with his toes.

Most beautiful fountains - Italy, Bologna - Images by Sunil Deepak

Fountain 20: Rome, Italy

Rome has some of the most beautiful and also most famous fountains in the world that have been copied widely and have inspired many other fountains. The first fountain from Rome is from the Repubblica square, a busy traffic roundabout near the railway station. Two moon shaped buildings form part of its backdrop. The images below show it early in the morning while the second figure has it with the evening lights.

Most beautiful fountains - Italy, Rome - Images by Sunil Deepak

Most beautiful fountains - Italy, Rome - Images by Sunil Deepak

Fountain 21: Rome, Italy

The next Italian fountain is probably the most famous – the Trevi fountain. This fountain has been part of many iconic scenes from films. In Fellini’s Amar cord, perhaps you remember Anita Ekberg standing in it? Or in the romantic Roman Holidays, you remember Audrey Hepburn getting a hair-cut near it? People visiting Rome are supposed to stand near it and throw a coin over their shoulders in its water so that they will have another chance to visit Rome and to admire it once again.

Most beautiful fountains - Italy, Rome - Images by Sunil Deepak

Fountain 22: Rome, Italy

The third Roman fountain in this list is the beautiful boat like fountain in the Spanish square. I have so many memories of sitting on the stairs going up towards the Trinita dei Monti and Via Veneto, and looking at the crowds passing below near this fountain.

Most beautiful fountains - Italy, Rome - Images by Sunil Deepak

Unfortunately this beautiful fountain, also designed by Giambologna (the architect of the colonnade in the St Peter’s square), was damaged recently by guys from Netherlands who had come to Rome for some football match. Just the idea of carelessly destroying such a piece of art makes me feel sick. However as had happened to Banyan Buddhas by the talibans and is happening to Syrian and Iraqi archaeological art by the ISIS goons, there are persons who hate the ideas of art, beauty and history.

Fountain 23: Schio, Italy

Almost every city of Italy has some beautiful fountains. As an example of lesser known fountains, I have chosen a modern and recent fountain from a tiny city in the north-east part of Italy. I call it the fountain of the sparrows. It has some sparrows drinking water from a round fountain while a group of children watch them with a sense of wonder and joy, while a small baby girl, sits nearby with an open book, lost in her thoughts.

Most beautiful fountains - Italy, Schio - Images by Sunil Deepak

I love this fountain, opera of an artist called Alfonso Fortuna. In terms of the emotions that it evokes, it is similar to the fountain in Volta palace of Bologna.

I am sure that those of you who have been to Italy would have your favourite Italian fountains. I also need to confess that I was very tempted to add the fountain of the rivers from Navona square of Rome in this post, that has become famous after Dan Brown’s book “Angels and demons”.

Fountain 24: Manila, Philippines

It is quite a big jump, from Italy in Europe to the Philippines in the Far East. Though in general, the East does not seem to have many fountains (I don’t know about Japan and Australia since I have never been there), Manila has a set of beautiful fountains in the city centre. These fountains are accompanied by music and change their forms, intensity and shapes along with the rhythms of that music. In the evening, colourful lights accompany these musical fountains. It is quite a performance, provided free to all the people. Thus I could understand why residents of Manila seemed to love this park.

Most beautiful fountains - Philippines, Manila - Images by Sunil Deepak

Most beautiful fountains - Philippines, Manila - Images by Sunil Deepak

Fountain 25: Lisbon, Portugal

After a brief excursion in the east, we are back in Europe. The two Portuguese fountains presented here are both from the beautiful Rossio square in Lisboa (Lisbon). The 17th and 18th century architecture of the square adds to the experience of appreciating these fountains that have sculptures inspired from Greek mythology.

Most beautiful fountains - Portugal, Lisbon - Images by Sunil Deepak

Most beautiful fountains - Portugal, Lisbon - Images by Sunil Deepak

Fountain 26: Lisbon, Portugal

The second fountain in the Rossio square stands in front of the opera building. I love this square because of its pavement lined with white and black stones, arranged in a waves pattern, so that they give an optical illusion of rising up and going down.

Most beautiful fountains - Portugal, Lisbon - Images by Sunil Deepak

Most beautiful fountains - Portugal, Lisbon - Images by Sunil Deepak

Fountain 27: Ljubljana, Slovenia

The next is the fountain of horses from the old centre of Ljubljana. It is a modern fountain with horses in different forms and sizes and thick streams of water.

Most beautiful fountains - Slovenia - Images by Sunil Deepak

Fountain 28: Geneva, Switzerland

The last 3 fountains of this post are from Switzerland. The first Swiss fountain is in front of the United Nations’ building where the “Broken chair” sculpture, a symbol of the international campaign asking for the ban of mines in the wars, forms its background.

Most beautiful fountains - Switzerland, Geneva - Images by Sunil Deepak

Fountain 29: Geneva, Switzerland

The next is one of the highest (or probably the highest) fountains in the world. It is the water jet going up to 300 metres near the right bank of Leman Lake. It is visible from far away. Going closer to the fountain, means getting completely wet. It may not have anything fancy, just a powerful jet of water, but it is very effective.

Most beautiful fountains - Switzerland, Geneva - Images by Sunil Deepak

Most beautiful fountains - Switzerland, Geneva - Images by Sunil Deepak

Fountain 30: Lausanne, Switzerland

The last fountain of this post is also one of the most beautiful. It is from the Olympic centre that has the offices of the world Olympic committee and many beautiful sculptures. This fountain has a man using an umbrella made of water to get himself completely wet. I love the idea behind this sculpture.

Most beautiful fountains - Switzerland, Lausanne - Images by Sunil Deepak

Conclusions

Preparing this post I had a lot of fun going through lot of images of fountains and deciding which ones to keep and which others to exclude. I hope that I have made you pause, see these fountains in the way I see them, and think of different ways of appreciating beauty and art.

If you had missed the first part of this post and want to see some other fountains, you check it now (Part 1).

I am sure that you know about other beautiful fountains – how about sharing some information about them in the comments of this post?

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