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Fountain Series: Stately – The Italian Gardens, London

One of the four basins with its central fountain (and water lilies).

One of the four basins with its central fountain (and water lilies).

Continuing with last week’s Italian theme, here is my final stately/grand/ornate fountain: the fountains of the Italian Gardens in London’s Kensington Gardens. Dating to 1860, the four basins each have a central rosette fountain, and at the south end you’ll find the Tazza Fountain (photo below). The spot is popular at lunch among workers in nearby offices, which is how I came to know the gardens and fountains.

Here’s something I learned when I looked up the fountains for this post: the building at the left in the photo above originally housed the steam pump that kept the water flowing into the fountains. source

The Tazza Fountain is at the south end of the Italian Gardens, where water arcs into The Long Water (which itself flows into the Serpentine).

The Tazza Fountain is at the south end of the Italian Gardens, where water arcs into The Long Water (which itself flows into the Serpentine).


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Random Fridays: Victorian Stairwell

Windows and staircase in the QVB.

Windows and staircase in the QVB.

This glorious stairwell comes from the Queen Victoria Building (known as “the QVB”), an upmarket shopping emporium (“mall” is far too pedestrian a word for this building!) in downtown Sydney.

“The QVB was designed by George McRae and completed in 1898 … The elaborate Romanesque architecture was specially planned for the grand building so the Government could employ many out-of-work craftsmen — stonemasons, plasterers, and stained window artists — in a worthwhile project … As recently as 1959 the Queen Victoria Building was threatened with demolition. As it stands now, in all its glory, it is testimony to the original vision for the building and the superb craftsmanship of the artisans who put it all back together again.” source


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Fountain Series: Stately – Trevi Fountain, Rome

A portion of the Trevi Fountain, Rome

A portion of the Trevi Fountain, Rome

To the archives for this and next weeks’ stately/ornate fountains. This is just part of the Trevi Fountain in Rome. Technically a Baroque fountain, I’m wickedly passing it off as stately — it is certainly ornate! According to Wikipedia, “The Trevi Fountain was finished in 1762 by Giuseppe Pannini … The majority of the piece is made from Travertine stone … An estimated 3,000 Euros are thrown into the fountain each day [!]”.


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Fountain Series – Stately: The Archibald Fountain

Jason with the Golden Fleece and the good things of the earth.

Jason with the Golden Fleece and the good things of the earth.

Ancient Greece meets Art Deco in the Archibald Fountain in Sydney’s Hyde Park. Nothing whatever to with Australia, but a glorious fountain nonetheless.

Theseus slaying the Minotaur which represents the sacrifice for the good of humanity.

Theseus slaying the Minotaur which represents the sacrifice for the good of humanity.

The description of the fountain and captions for the first three photos in this post come from Jim at Sydney – City and Surrounds (I used his description for last week’s Governor Phillip fountain too): “The Archibald Fountain is an art deco style fountain in Hyde Park, near College Street, designed by French artist Francois Sicard and unveiled on 14 March 1932. The fountain is named after J.F. Archibald, owner and editor of The Bulletin, a newspaper which later became a magazine that encouraged writers to write about Australia. He bequeathed funds to build it to commemorate the association of Australia and France in World War I. The fountain features mythological characters of ancient Greece. The central pedestal features a bronze sculpture of Apollo with the fan-like shape of water formed by jets rising behind it, representing the rising sun. There are three granite plinths radiating from the central pedestal featuring the following bronze sculptures: Artemis, the goddess of the wilderness, the hunt, wild animals and fertility depicted here with a bow, a deer and hunting dogs. Jason with the Golden Fleece and the good things of the earth. Theseus slaying the Minotaur which represents the sacrifice for the good of humanity. The large basin is decorated with six tortoises which throw jets of water.”

 Apollo with the fan-like shape of water formed by jets rising behind

Apollo with the fan-like shape of water formed by jets rising behind

Archibald Fountain, the widescreen view

Archibald Fountain, the widescreen view

October’s fountain theme is Stately or Ornate.


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Random Fridays: Gone Fishing

Men fish, oblivious to the giant A380 that has just landed behind them.

Men fish from a breakwater, oblivious to the giant A380 that has just landed behind them.

I was torn between calling this photo “Plane Spotting” or “Gone Fishing” — but since the people are paying no attention to the aircraft screaming along the runway behind them, I went with the fishing theme. This is Sydney, where the airport’s runways jut out into Botany Bay. The people are not quite as close to the runway as this photo indicates, as the lens’s zoom has brought the background closer.


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