Dioscuri Fountain and Quirinal Obelisk Rome

The Fountain of the Dioscuri is located in the Piazza del Quirinale in the center Rome. It consists of two enormous statues of the Dioscuri and their horses, plus the Quirinal Obelisk. The monument is also known as the Monte Cavallo Fountain.

Fountain of the Dioscuri Rome

Quirinal obelisk Rome

History and description

The Fontana dei Dioscuri was commissioned by Pope Sixtus V Peretti and designed by Domenico Fontana (1588). The fountain got its water from the Aqua Felice Aqueduct. The obelisk was added in 1786, when it was transported to the Quirinal Hill from the Campo Marzio. The architect of the move was Giovanni Antinori and he had been ordered to do so by Pope Pius VI. It was not an easy job, since the statues turned out quite difficult to handle. It also took two attempts to remove the 15m tall obelisk to its present site.

Fontana had designed a fountain with an octagonal basin with a pedestal in the middle. A second basin rested on this pedestal. Enormous statues of the Dioscuri with their horses embellished the fountains.

Unfortunately the original fountain was destroyed and today’s version dates from the year 1818, when Pope VII Chiaramonti had a new one built, this time made of granite and with a circular instead of an octagonal lower basin.

Although the pedestal bears an inscription claiming the statues were made by Fidia and Prassitele, in reality these are copies of Greek originals.

Fontana dei Dioscuri, Piazza del Quirinale, Roma

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *