Celimontana Fountain Rome
Address, opening hours and admission
The Fontana Celimontana is located in the Via Annia in the Celio district of Rome. The fountain can be visited free of charge at any time of the day.
History and description
The Fontana Celimontana is built against a wall at the end of a dead end street. This wall is constructed around part of a military hospital.
Virginio Vespignani designed the Celimontana Fountain in 1864 by order of Pope Pius IX. It was one of two fountains located on either side of the San Clemente Basilica.
One of the two was a simple washing place and was soon removed for storage. The present Celimontana Fountain remained there until 1927 and was then moved to the Via Sannia.
The fountain is fed by the Acqua Marcia Aqueduct and placed in the center of a brick exedra. At the extremeties of the exedra there are pillars crowned by marble spheres. The spheres are connected by a cornice. In the middle of this cornice, held up by two dolphins, is the coat of arms of the city of Rome.
The fountain itself consists of a rectangular sarcophagus from the first century BC. Two lion heads spit water into this sarcophagus. The inscription between the lions says that Pope Pius IX had the fountain built in 1864. The coat of arms above the inscription is that of the Mastai Ferretti, the Pope’s family.
Pius IX had another fountain erected in the Piazza Mastai in Trastevere.