The Fontana del Formiello in Naples used to also be known under the name Fontana Reale (“Royal Fountain”). This fountain was originally used for horses to drink from and is located near the Castel Capuano in the Piazza Enrico De Nicola.
Fontana del Formiello Naples
History and description
The current Fontana del Formiello was constructed in 1573, but there are sources that indicate it existed as early as the 14th century. The latter is confirmed by a document from the then Queen Johanna I to the nuns of the Santa Maria Maddalena Monastery, who needed water for their mill.
At that time, the fountain was still outside the city walls. From 1519 it came to be known as Fontana del Formello, due to its proximity to a conduit (formale) of the Bolla Aqueduct.
Because of the many floods in this district, it was decided to reconstruct the fountain elsewhere. This finally happened in 1573. The marble worker Michele Di Guida enlarged the fountain and placed it against the eastern wall of the Castel Capuano.
Di Guida created the carved coats of arms of the Habsburgs, the masks and medallions. The two male and two female faces in the medallions depict the four seasons. He was also responsible for the three lion heads from which the water falls into the rectangular tub.
The then viceroy had a plaque in honor of King Philip II of Habsburg placed in the middle of the fountain.
In 1671, Viceroy Don Pedro Antonio of Aragon had a statue of Philip IV erected on the fountain. However, this was immediately removed, because the neighborhood had by now fallen into disrepair and thus was not considered good enough for the king.