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Fantastic fountains

Water, in all its forms, has long held a collective fascination in our consciousness, particularly in the intersection of the power it holds in nature and our intimate dependence on it. So it’s unsurprising that urban planners and architects have sought inspiration - from waterfalls to geysers - to incorporate water features and similar phenomena into our everyday environments.

In doing so, there are some wonderful and artistic fountains that have become attractions in their own right and are key sights in cities across the globe. This has led designers to turn them into true spectacles, with many having specially timed displays, some that ‘dance’ to music and illuminations at night with attractive coloured lighting to highlight their beauty. Appreciated by locals and visitors alike, many come from far and wide to marvel at these works.

The Flexicover Team looks at some great water fountains to draw your attention!

Fountain of Wealth; Singapore

Recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s largest fountain, this 14m high bronze structure with a 66m circumference upper ring, sits at the hub of the immense Suntec City shopping mall. Not only does it invite people to throw coins in the water but throughout the day the fountains are turned off for short periods so visitors and locals can collect money for good luck. Symbolising harmony, wealth and life (and based on the design of the Hindu mandala), visitors are invited to walk around the fountain and soak in well wishes of hope and luck whilst watching the rhythmic water display. And at night, the whole thing lights up in a massive laser display!

Fountains of Bellagio; Las Vegas, USA

Costing an estimated $40 million to build, this extravaganza of a water display utilises a vast network of pipes and over 1,200 nozzles to shoot and spin water in intricate patterns up to 140m into the air. Set over an 8.5 acre lake in the heart of the famous strip outside the majestic Bellagio resort, displays take place every half an hour during the day and every 15 minutes at night. Perfectly ‘choreographed’, this water show dances to over 30 songs including Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’ and Frank Sinatra’s ‘Fly Me to the Moon’. And in a city that specialises in parting visitors from their money, the best thing is that taking in the show here is free!

Jet d’Eau; Geneva, Switzerland

The Jet d’Eau (literally meaning ‘water jet’) is a spectacular fountain on Lake Geneva and a real iconic symbol for this Swiss city, visible even when flying over the city! Originally designed as a safety release valve for a hydraulic power network and located further downstream, the city quickly realised its value as a spectacle and attraction, so moving it to its current location. A special pumping station shoots 500 litres of lake water per second to a height of 140m, with around 7,000 litres of water surging through the air at any given moment whilst in operation. Just be a little careful when visiting - a slight wind change can lead to you getting delightfully drenched!

Fontana dell’Ovato; Tivoli, Italy

The ‘Oval Fountain’ is one of the masterworks of the 16th-century Italian architect, Pirro Ligorio. Commissioned to work on the gardens of the Villa d’Este by Tivoli’s cardinal-governor, his work is recognised for being the quintessence of a late High Renaissance Italian garden, boasting both grandiose baroque designs and marvels of hydraulic engineering. It’s no big surprise that this complex was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001. Surrounded by stunning landscaping, jets and careful sculpture send water cascading from this fountain’s egg-shaped basin into a plunge pool below and set against the backdrop of an elaborate nymphaeum. All in all, a visit to these gardens will be an unforgettable wonder!

Crown Fountain; Chicago, USA

Located in Chicago’s Millennium Park, this fountain is a work of public art, designed to invite the public to interact with it on a physical and technological basis. It’s often considered as one of the most creative fountains in the world; it consists of two 15m high glass LED-lit towers at each end of a black granite reflecting pool. The towers project video images of Chicago citizens puffing out their cheeks as a stream of water shoots out of a nozzle in the surface of each tower - many residents visit hoping to catch a glimpse of themselves! And at night, the video walls project images of nature and vivid walls of colour as the water flows. If you’re a fan of the contemporary, then this ‘techno-fountain’ is sure to delight!

Wherever your travels take you and whichever fountains you are lucky enough to see, we at Flexicover are committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure that you are safe and secure, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year when away.

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