Decorative Fountains: Their History and Uses

Decorative Fountains: Their History and Uses

September 12, 2022  |  fountains
Fountain in the backyard

Decorative fountains are one of the most stunning and stylish features you can add to your yard. 


They fit perfectly almost anywhere from greeting guests in the front yard, to peacefully babbling amid your lush garden.  


Fountains add an undeniable touch of elegance to any yard. But they were not always meant for decoration and relaxation.  


Fountains have a long history of function and style. 


But where did they originate and what were the first fountains used for? 


Keep reading to learn more about the history of garden fountains and how the past influences their use today. 


The First Fountains Were Not Found in Gardens 


Today, fountains are typically a source of decoration. However, in distant human history, water was not as plentiful as it is today.  


The first fountain is thought to have come about between 3000 and 2000 BC. Archeologists believe this first fountain was used for religious purposes, holding sacred water that was used in divine ceremonies.  


As fountains began to become more commonplace, they were used for drinking and bathing. These first fountains were powered simply using gravity and water from springs.  


If the water source was at a higher elevation than the fountain, the water would flow downwards and out the mouth of the spigot. In these early days, common people did not have access to running water, so fountains were often shared by communities for bathing, drinking, and washing.  


Fountains Progressed Past Utility 


Romans began using fountains for decoration around the year 5 BC. These fountains often depicted animals or mythological heroes and were made from stone or bronze. The Romans used their elaborate system of aqueducts to transport water to their fountains, so the need for a local spring was eliminated.  


By 98 AD, Rome was dubbed “the City of Fountains” as it had 9 aqueducts, 39 monumental fountains, and 591 public basins.  


During the Middle Ages, the use of fountains declined, and they were often only found in palace gardens and monasteries. During this time, they became symbols of life and virtue and gained a reputation for style and high class.  


At the start of the Renaissance, fountains began to take a more prominent role in society. They became larger and more grandiose and often paid homage to figures of splendor and wealth.  


Beyond that, fountains became forms of entertainment. Fountains were known at this time to spray unsuspecting visitors, play music, and even provide a source of relaxation. Many of the most famous fountains in Europe were built during this time.  


Modern Day Fountains 


Today, fountains have taken on more of a decorative role.  


Due to the ubiquity of plumbing, fountains became much more accessible to the common person.  


Electric and automatic pumps helped increase the spread of fountains and they are now commonly found on private properties in addition to public spaces.  


In addition, fountains can recycle water and shoot streams high into the air. Technology has caused the use of fountains to flourish, and they can now be lit with colored lights and synchronized to the beat of music.  


Over 3000-4000 years, fountains have gone from sources of water and bathing to purely decorative features. 


The Fountain of Your Dreams from Outdoor Experts 


Fountains are beautiful and elegant additions to any yard.  


Whether you want to enhance your garden, add life to your front yard, or anything in between, a fountain is one of the best ways to infuse your yard with additional class. 


If you are ready for the fountain of your dreams, then it’s time to reach out to Outdoor Experts.  


The pros at Outdoor Experts understand that your yard is not just a plot of land, it is an extension of your home. As such, your yard should only be worked on by professionals who provide the same level of attention and care that you give it yourself.  


For better outdoor enhancements, reach out to Outdoor Experts today!