Fonte Gaia (Gaia Fountain), Siena

Fonte Gaia (Gaia Fountain), Siena (must see)

The Gaia Fountain is a monumental fountain located opposite the Public Palace on the high side of Campo Square in Siena. Surrounded by fences, the fountain is a protected monument in the city. The Gaia Fountain was designed by local sculptor, Jacopo della Quercia, in 1419, in keeping with the style traditional for Sienese fountains. It consisted of a rectangular basin surrounded by a high parapet on three sides. The parapet was covered with bas reliefs. The bas reliefs depicted the creation of Adam and the flight from the Garden of Eden. The long section has a statue of the Madonna and the Child surrounded by allegories of the virtues.

The fountain was placed on the site of a previous one, created in 1346. It got its name from the celebrations that took place when water flowed from the fountain for the first time. Legend holds that the fountain was met with much joy, and thus the name Gaia or joyous. Others suggest the term Gaia refers to the Latin term for "bride", and that the fountain was dedicated to the bride of God and patron of Siena, the Virgin Mary. The original panels, created by Jacopo della Quercia, fell into disrepair in the 19th century. Tito Sarrochi reproduced the originals, while the old panels were removed and displayed in the loggia of the Public Palace.

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Fonte Gaia (Gaia Fountain) on Map

Sight Name: Fonte Gaia (Gaia Fountain)
Sight Location: Siena, Italy (See walking tours in Siena)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Siena, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Siena

Create Your Own Walk in Siena

Creating your own self-guided walk in Siena is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Medieval Siena Walking Tour

Medieval Siena Walking Tour

Siena is a beautiful medieval city whose Gothic-era identity, acquired between the 12th and 15th centuries, has been successfully preserved due to the centuries of political and economic irrelevance in the shadow of its grander neighbor Florence. Today's Siena is a cultural gold mine and ideal place to revel in medieval Italy.

No tour of Siena is complete without visiting its heart, the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 Km or 2.2 Miles
Siena's Palaces Walking Tour

Siena's Palaces Walking Tour

A leisurely stroll through downtown Siena – a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, full of imperious castles, palaces and other historic buildings – promises an exciting day of discovery and a pleasant experience for architecture buffs.

While most Italian cities have a church on their main square, Siena's famous Piazza Del Campo gathers around the city hall, known as Palazzo Pubblico...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.7 Km or 0.4 Miles
Siena Old Town Walking Tour

Siena Old Town Walking Tour

Siena was originally settled by Etruscans of Italy and later settled by Romans, who emulated Etruscan culture and named the city Sena Julia. The Lombard Kings then developed the city. By the 12th century, Siena was self-governing.

Siena established the Council of Nine in 1270. This Council was responsible for a flourishing economy, a focus on art, and a building boom. In 1348, Siena was...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 Km or 0.7 Miles