Piazza Barberini. Triton Fountain, Rome

Piazza Barberini. Triton Fountain, Rome

Piazza Barberini gets its name from one of Rome's most powerful Renaissance-era families who, since 1625, took over the square and made it an addition to their residential palace (now housing the National Gallery of Ancient Art). One of the Barberini sons eventually became Pope Urban VIII, famous for his persecution of Galileo Galilei, who invented the telescope and “heretically” claimed the Earth revolves around the Sun.

Nevertheless, the Pope had plans to build several fountains in Rome, and in 1642 Gian Lorenzo Bernini was given patronage over the one standing in this square, now counted among his masterpieces. In building the fountain, Bernini closely followed the instructions of the Pope, who was inspired by a passage in Book I of “Metamorphose” by the famous Roman poet, Ovid. The passage Bernini was asked to put into sculpture describes Triton commanding the waters to retreat after the Deluge, at the same time calling back the world to order and peace.

The fountain was sculpted in travertine – a type of limestone formed by hot springs – and depicts the magnificent Triton as a merman as he kneels on the tails of four dolphins. In his hand is a conch shell that he is raising to his lips like a trumpet.

The four dolphins that form the base in the center of the basin are entwined around the Papal Tiara and crossed keys, below which you can see the Barberini heraldic symbol of bees.

The fountain is unique in that it was the first free-standing thematic fountain to be sculpted outside private gardens. At that time, public fountains were rather plain, unassuming affairs, but Pope Urban VIII wanted something a bit more spectacular outside his family home. The Triton Fountain immediately gave a strong scenic sense to the whole square, becoming a beacon for people coming from the city center.
Sight description based on wikipedia

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Piazza Barberini. Triton Fountain on Map

Sight Name: Piazza Barberini. Triton Fountain
Sight Location: Rome, Italy (See walking tours in Rome)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Rome, Italy

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"Roman Holiday" Movie Walking Tour

"Roman Holiday" Movie Walking Tour

A movie beloved by generations of people, "Roman Holiday" (1953) was filmed entirely in Rome and starred two of Hollywood's greatest icons: Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. The romantic comedy would go on to earn three Oscars, including a best actress trophy for Hepburn, who is entirely sympathetic in a role that could have been off-putting. The main storyline centers on a day of...  view more

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Ancient Rome around Colosseum

Ancient Rome around Colosseum

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Rome Introduction Walking Tour I

Rome Introduction Walking Tour I

Legend has it that Rome was founded in 753 BC by twin brothers Romulus and Remus who were raised by a she-wolf. However, the pair argued about who had the support of the gods, and Romulus ended up killing Remus in a fight on what became Palatine Hill. Thus, Romulus named the city after himself and declared himself as king.

In a slightly less glorious account, Rome actually began as an Iron Age...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
EUR Sightseeing Walking Tour

EUR Sightseeing Walking Tour

Esposizione Universale Roma (EUR) is a suburban area in Rome established in 1942, it was designed to host an exhibition which didn't take place due to World War II. EUR is popular for the period architecture of Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana. The area also contains some very important landmarks of history and culture, including Museo della Civiltà Romana, Pigorini Museo Nazionale...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 Km or 2.2 Miles
Holy Sites Walking Tour

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As the cradle of the Catholic Church, one of the world's largest organizations, Rome has a large number of valuable, sacred places of worship. Crowded with architectural splendors from different periods of time, each of its churches and basilicas represent a significant part of culture and history.

Take this self-guided walking tour to discover Rome's magnificent religious heritage,...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.9 Km or 4.3 Miles
Rome Shopping Streets Walking Tour

Rome Shopping Streets Walking Tour

Loved by tourists for its busy fashionable streets and significant baroque icons, the so-called ‘Tridente’ is one of the Eternal City's most lusted-after areas, formed by Via dei Condotti, Via Borgognona, Via Frattina and the adjacent Via del Corso. It is perhaps the most high-end destination for Roman shopping, with a concentration of renowned jewelers and important Italian/international...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles

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