Fontana del Sebeto Naples

The Fontana del Sebeto is a monumental fountain in the Largo Sermoneta in Naples. Designed by Cosimo Fanzago, the fountain is named after a river that used to run through the city.

Fontana del Sebeto Naples

History and description

The Fontana del Sebeto was commissioned by the viceroy Manuel Zuñiga y Fonseca in 1625. The architect was Cosimo Fanzago, who enlisted the help of his son Carlo Fanzago and of Salomone Rapi for its construction.

Cosimo Fanzago was a nobleman who worked as a sculptor and architect mainly in Naples.

The fountain stood until 1900 in what is now the Via Cesario Console. An epigraph referring to the opening of the Via Gusmana, as this street used to be called, has disappeared. It was moved to its present site in 1939.

A second epigraph, still visible, refers to the construction and relocation of the fountain itself.

The fountain stands on a plinth of a grey volcanic stone called piperno. The plinth is topped by a second marble foundation. On either side are two small obelisks.

The central part consists of a semicircular arch supported by columns. On the sides are two tritons with water bags on their shoulders. Water fell from these bags into the shell-shaped basins.

The old man symbolizes the river Sebeto. This statue probably used to stand in today’s Piazza del Plebiscito near the bell tower of the Croce di Palazzo Church.

The coats of arms of the king, the city and the viceroy can be seen above the statue.

Fontana del Sebeto, Naples

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