|What to see Abruzzo L'Aquila Fountain of 99 Spouts|
Fountain of 99 Spouts in L'Aquila
L'Aquila (AQ), Abruzzo, Italy
This unique Fountain, almost a symbol of the town of L'Aquila, is certainly one of the best-known monuments in Abruzzi. Historically, the number 99 seems to have been associated to the city and the Fountain some time after the construction.
The Fountain is situated a few hundred yards from the railway station, in the Piazza San Vito, immediately inside the Porta della Rivera in the XIV-century city walls, opposite the small Romanesque Church of St. Vito. Just like with the Trevi Fountain in Rome, the sound of flowing water is really impressive and can already be heard from afar.
The fountain is an irregular trapezoidal figure, with the four corners placed in the directions of the four compass points, the left-side corner being North.
The walls surrounding the fountain were built with red and white stones which were probably taken from nearby Genzano di Sassa and closely resemble the stones of the facade of St. Mary of Collemaggio, which was completed about the same time. The square stones are placed in 13 rows, alternating a red and a white stone, creating a kind of chessboard pattern.
The inscription gives 1272 as the year when the fountain was probably completed, which date, if accepted, would mean possibly a 5-10 years work. The project was by Tancredi from Pentima (present day Corfinio, the ancient pre-Roman town where the name Italia was first used) and Valva was a monastery of the Cistercensian order, which means Tancredi may have been a monk himself.
The name "99 spouts" started to be used only decades after the foundation, probably when Buccio da Ranallo wrote his poem in vernacular on the origin of the town; the inscription in the fountain does not mention the number 99, and the fountain was known originally as the Fontana della Rivera, Rivera being the quarter placed at lower altitude in the town, bordering the river Aterno.
How many are the 99 spouts? In 1742 Antonio Ludovico Antinori, who wrote a commentary to the Cronaca by Aquilan poet Buccio di Ranallo, wrote that the spouts were 93, all jutting out of as many stone faces (representing mythological figures, friars, male and female characters, satyres, warriors, animals) all different from one another. Actually the number 99 for the spouts (but not for the stone faces), can be obtained only adding 6 spouts jutting directly from a stone placed in a lower position to the right corner of the entrance, and it is not sure these 6 spouts existed in origin.
The mysteries of the fountain
Many questions rise from the fountain, and scholars and historians have given interesting and impressive theories to explain.
La Rivelazione dell'Aquila, published by di Luca Ceccarelli and Paolo Cautilli in 2009 The mysteries of L'Aquila (in Italian), seminal studies on the foundation and historical background to the monuments of the town, below a the YouTube trailer of the documentary -movie based on the book.
the map is centered on the fountain; use the zoom to enlarge and the arrows or your mouse pointer to move around, the controls to switch to map or hybrid. (See a larger map of the 99 Spouts in l'Aquila)
|copyright italyworldclub - all rights reserved - contacts|