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Holy Mountain Trading Company - History of Pools and Fountains

Holy Mountain Trading Company - History of Pools and Fountains

Ancient World

As seen in tomb paintings from 3000 BC, the Egyptians planted gardens within the walled enclosures surrounding their homes. In time these gardens came to be formally laid out around a rectangular fish pond flanked by rows of fruit trees and ornamental plants.
In the highlands of Mesopotamia, the Assyrians and Persians planned rectangular walled formal gardens, irrigated by pools and canals and shaded by trees, usually set in vast plains. These gardens symbolized paradise and inspired Persian carpet designs.
Roman houses, similar to Greek houses, included a colonnaded garden, as depicted in wall paintings at Pompeii and as described by Pliny the Elder. The vast grounds of the Emperor Hadrian's villa near Tivoli (2nd century AD) were magnificently landscaped. The Roman populace enjoyed gardens attached to the public baths.

Non-Western World

Living where the climate is generally hot and dry, the Muslims were inspired by the desert oasis and the ancient Persian paradise garden centered on water. Muslim gardens were usually one or more enclosed courts surrounded by cool arcades and planted with trees and shrubs. They were enlivened with colored tilework, fountains and pools, and the interplay of light and shade. Before the 15th century, the Moors in Spain built such gardens at Córdoba, Toledo, and especially at the Alhambra in Granada. Similar gardens, in which flowers, fruit trees, water, and shade were arranged in a unified composition, were built by the Mughals in 17th- and 18th-century India. The most notable examples are the Taj Mahal gardens in Agra and the Shalimar Gardens in Lahore.
In China, palaces, temples, and houses were built around a series of courtyards, which might include trees and plants (often in pots that could be changed with the seasons), and pools. The Imperial City in Beijing contained elaborate pleasure gardens with trees, artificial lakes and hillocks, bridges, and pavilions.
Japan has a long tradition of gardens inspired by those of China and Korea. Kyoto was especially famous for its gardens which included pools and waterfalls; rocks, stone, and sand; and evergreens. Every element of a garden was carefully planned, sometimes by Zen monks and painters, to create an effect of restraint, harmony, and peace.

Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque Periods

In medieval Europe at the 9th-century Swiss abbey of St. Gall, the large garden was divided into four areas, for herbs, vegetables, fruits, and flowers. The gardens of most monasteries were surrounded by cloistered walks and had a well or fountain at the center, possibly inspired by Persian gardens, which was intended to enhance meditation. Fountain in Florence, Italy.
During the Renaissance in Italy, castles gave way to palaces and villas with extensive grounds landscaped in the Roman tradition. Borders of tall, dark cypresses and clipped yew hedges, geometric flower beds, stone balustrades, fountains, and sculptures conformed strictly to the overall plan. Examples from the 15th century include the gardens of the Medici, Palmieri, and La Pietra villas in or near Florence. Among increasingly formal and elaborate villa complexes in the 16th century are the Villa Lante in Bagnaia and the Villa Farnese in Caprarola. Others are the Villa Madama and the Villa Medici in Rome and the Villa d'Este in Tivoli. Italian gardens of the 17th century became even more complex in the dramatic baroque style. They were distinguished by lavish use of serpentine lines, groups of sculptured allegorical figures in violent movement, and a multiplicity of spouting fountains and waterfalls. Examples are the Villa Aldobrandini in Frascati, Villa Garzoni in Collodi, Villa Giovio in Como, and the gardens on the Isola Bella in Lake Maggiore. French Royal Gardens.
Modified versions of Italian Renaissance and baroque gardens appeared throughout Europe. In Spain, Moorish and Renaissance elements were combined in the gardens of the Alcázar in Seville. In France the great châteaus of the Loire valley, such as Chambord and Chenonceaux, were laid out with formal gardens, and with extensive forested parks.
In the 17th century, France replaced Italy as the primary inspiration of architectural and landscape design. The vast building programs of Louis XIV included miles of symmetrically arranged gardens, which, like royal architecture of the period, were designed to give an impression of limitless grandeur. The grounds were regularly intersected by radiating alleys lined with trees or hedges and embellished with fountains, pavilions, and statuary. Versailles and its immense gardens spawned splendid imitations in dozens of kingdoms and principalities throughout Europe.

Romantic Period

In the late 18th century the rise of romanticism, with its emphasis on untamed nature, the picturesque, the past, and the exotic, led to important changes in landscape architecture as well as in other arts. At such great houses as Blenheim Palace and Chatsworth, English architects replaced the symmetrically arranged flower beds and straight walks with sweeping lawns, sloping hills with curving paths, and rivers and ponds punctuated by informally planted groups of trees and shrubbery, to achieve the effect of a wilderness.
The English romantic style spread to the rest of Europe by way of France, where a notable example of the style was created at Ermenonville. It was introduced in North America at Monticello, Jefferson's Virginia estate. The most important example of this style is Central Park, New York City, designed in 1857.

20th Century

Domestic architecture in the first half of the 20th century attempted to achieve a closer integration of the house with its surroundings. In areas with mild climates, such as California, a garden might be continued within the house. With today's apartment-style living, many architects seek to incorporate natural elements into their interior designs. Indoor pools and water fountains are enjoying great popularity in shopping malls, offices, and homes. They offer an oasis of cool tranquility in an otherwise hectic world.