Piazza della Rotonda and Its Fountain (Fontana del Pantheon), Rome

"Piazza della Rotonda and Its Fountain (Fontana del Pantheon), Rome " submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Wednesday 11th January 2012

Piazza della Rotonda, Rome

This square in front of Pantheon was given its medieval name "della Rotonda" by Romans, which derives from the round form of Pantheon. For centuries it was a very animated place and a site of market, moved away from here only in 1847. After it the square was paved with the characteristic Roman stones "sampietrini", and in 1906 was covered by wooden panels in form of parquet, which was presented to Rome by Italians from Argentina, with the goal to bring silence in this greatly venerated place, disturbed in that epoch by clatter of horses' hoofs. At present Piazza della Rotonda is partly closed for traffic. The level of the square is the lowest in the historical center of Rome.

In the middle is an elegant fountain by G.Della Porta erected here in 1578. It was rearranged in 1711 by Filippo Barigioni by wish of Clement XI, who placed in the center of construction a 6m obelisk, previously located on Piazza S.Macuto, but originally from the Temple of Isis, which existed in the beginning of the 1st millenium in the zone of Piazza della Minerva (close to Pantheon).

Fontana di Piazza della Rotonda (Fontana del Pantheon)

Fontana del Pantheon (Pantheon Fountain), Piazza della Rotonda
Fig: Fontana del Pantheon (Pantheon Fountain),
Piazza della Rotonda

The Fontana del Pantheon (English: Fountain of the Pantheon) was commissioned by Pope Gregory XIII and is located in the Piazza della Rotonda, Rome, in front of the Roman Pantheon. It was designed by Giacomo Della Porta in 1575 and sculpted out of marble by Leonardo Sormani.

Pantheon fountain is fed by Acqua Vergine was built in 1575 under Gregory the Thirteenth Boncompagni (1575-1582) in front of the huge building of the Pantheon, at the centre of the square that hosted a very busy market until the past century. Only the elegant mistilinear pond made of African dull-grey marble built by Leonardo Sormani is what remains today of this fountain designed by Giacomo della Porta. The pond presented a chalice on a baluster standing at its centre and was decorated with four groups of mask and dauphins, originally built for the North fountain in Piazza Navona.

The fountain of Piazza della Rotonda assumed its current appearance in 1711 under Clement the Eleventh Albani (1700-1721). The task of reconstructing it was assigned to the architect Filippo Barigioni, who inspired himself to the scheme of the Fountain of the Rivers by Bernini. In this new arrangement the central baluster was eliminated and replaced with a travertine cliff with four dauphins in the corners. An obelisk coming from the Iseum Campense (the temple built by Domitian in Campus Martius, in honour of the Egyptian goddesses Isis and Serapis) that since the fourteenth century stood in front of the nearby church of San Macuto stands out from the cliff on a pedestal. The heraldic coats of arms of pope Albani and of the pope with the tiara, keys, and cornucopia were placed on the South and North sides of the base.

A bronze star symbol of the Albani family decorates the top of the obelisk. The fountain was restored at the end of the past century and on that occasion the masks were replaced with copies by Luigi Amici. The originals, three of the sixteenth century and one of the eighteenth century. In 1886, the original marble figures were removed, and replaced with copies by Luigi Amici. Today the originals can be seen in the Museum of Rome.

Address:
Piazza della Rotonda and Its Fountain (Fontana del Pantheon)
Piazza della Rotonda
00186, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Pigna (Torre Argentina) (Roma centro)
Piazza della Rotonda and Its Fountain (Fontana del Pantheon) is Shown By "Map E Zone" As "44"

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