November 22, 2017 / Luxury Lifestyle

A Bigger Splash: 5 Spectacular Public Fountains

These stunning feature fountains from around the world—including Switzerland, Italy, and the USA, give bursts of both water and vibrant color


Worth traveling for, these stunning water features combine impressive feats of engineering with undisputed beauty. Incorporating multiple waterfalls, spectacular light shows, or jets as tall as skyscrapers, each of these public fountains is a marvel in its own right. And there is something for everyone, as they range from Renaissance to contemporary in style.

1. The Swarovski “Giant”
Swarovski Kristallwelten, Innsbruck, AustriaCovered in moss, with crystal eyes, the “Giant” is built into an Alpine hillside at the entrance to the Swarovski Crystal Worlds. Banner image: The Italian Water Garden, Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania, USA. Photographs: AlamyNo one can accuse Swarovski of predictability when designing a fountain to “guard” its themed Crystal Worlds park. This giant moss-covered head was designed by multimedia artist André Heller to mark Swarovski’s 100th anniversary in 1995. 

2. Tanner Fountain
Harvard University, Massachusetts, USAVisitors to Tanner Fountain are invited to interact with the space, comprising 159 granite boulders randomly set in concentric circles over the existing pathways and lawn. Photograph: PWP Landscape ArchitectureThis rather abstract version of a fountain, constructed in 1984, produces an atmospheric ground-level mist, rather than traditional jets of water. The huge stones came from New England and the design won Berkeley-based architect Peter Walker a Landmark Award in 2008. 

3. Fountain of Neptune
Villa d’Este, Tivoli, ItalyThe Fountain of Neptune is among the impressive fountains of Villa d’Este, which has hosted artists and musicians such as Franz Liszt, who composed <i>Water Games at Villa d'Este</i> there. Photograph: ShutterstockEven by modern standards, the Villa d’Este is a phenomenal feat of engineering. This 16th-century villa in Tivoli, near Rome, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a proliferation of fountains—including the Fountain of Neptune, which was restored in the 1930s. The villa itself was an early model for the development of many other European Renaissance gardens. 

4. Jet d’Eau
Lake Geneva, SwitzerlandIt’s said that on a clear day, one can see Lake Geneva’s Jet d’Eau from more than 30 miles away—in Switzerland and France. Photograph: Getty ImagesAt the south-western end of Lake Geneva, Jet d’Eau shoots 500 litres of water per second—459 feet into the air—creating a spectacle wherever in the city you view it from. It was originally created to release pressure from a nearby hydroelectric plant. At that time (1886), the water jet was 98 feet high. It was moved and heightened in 1891, and elevated again in 1951, when it reached its current projection. 

5. Longwood Gardens Main Fountain Garden
Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania, USARecently renovated and revitalized, the Main Fountain Garden incorporates technology that allows for a stunning fountain show. Photograph: Getty ImagesThe main fountain garden at Longwood Gardens is a spectacle of grand allées, hand-carved limestone, and topiary, inspired by visits to gardens around the world by its founder—philanthropist and keen gardener Pierre du Pont. After buying the land that would become the Gardens, du Pont installed a hydraulic water system of more than 1,700 fountain jets and streams. 

Going with the flow in garden design


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