Moses Fountain Rome

Moses Fountain Rome

The Moses Fountain can be found in the Piazza San Bernardo in Rome, at a short walk from the main railway station Roma Termini. It is the fountain at the end of the Acqua Felice Aqueduct.

Moses Fountain Rome

Opening hours and admission

Moses Fountain Rome
Moses Fountain

The fountain can be seen from outside.

History and description

Moses Fountain Rome
Moses

The Fontana del Mosé was designed in 1587 by the brothers Domenico and Giovanni Fontana and was meant to be the showpiece of the Acqua Felice Aqueduct. Domenico Fontana was the house architect of Pope Sixtus V Peretti (whose real name was Felice), so it was no coincidence that he was to one to receive this important commission.

The fountain was intended as a show fountain for the Felice Aqueduct, also built by Sixtus V. Parts of the already existing Aqua Alessandrina Aqueduct were used in the construction of this aqueduct.

The marble used for the fountain itself came largely from the Baths of Diocletian.

With the water that thus entered the city, the Quirinal, Viminal and Esquiline Hills, including the enormous villa of the pope himself, were supplied with water.

Next to the Moses Fountain, Pope Sixtus had 2 laundry washing basins placed, as well as a covered wash-house for women.

What to see

In the large central niche of the fountain stands the statue of Moses from which the fountain takes its name. Moses points to the water flowing miraculously from the rock. The sculpture was created by Leonardo Sormani and Prospero Antichi.

The bas-reliefs in the lateral niches have Biblical themes and were created by Flaminio Vacca (right) and Giovanni Battista della Porta (left).

The monument is often criticized for the far too large proportions of the upper part, with a long inscription commemorating the construction of the fountain itself.

The coat of arms above the inscription is that of the pope. The Famas (a Fama was the Goddess of fame, as well as of rumor and gossip) on either side of it were also made by Vacca and della Porta.

The fountain consists of three niches created by the placement of four Ionic columns. The columns are embellished with 4 Egyption lions, two of which constructed of white marble while the other two were made of a darker variety. The lions you can see are copies. The originals are preserved in the Vatican Museums.

Lions at the foot of the Moses Fountain

The central niche contains the statue of Moses himself, which was however placed there at a later date. Statues of Aronne and of Gideon adorn the outer ones.

Address and public transport

The address of the Fontana di Mosé is Piazza San Bernardo, Rome. Metro: Repubblica (line A).

Moses Fountain – Piazza San Bernardo Rome

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