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

Create Your Own Walk in Rome

Create Your Own Walk in Rome

Creating your own self-guided walk in Rome 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.
Rome Introduction Walking Tour II

Rome Introduction Walking Tour II

The historic center of Rome is packed with numerous landmarks and genuine works of art, to see all of which may take days if not weeks. This Rome Introduction Walk II highlights some of the key sights emerged during the Renaissance and Baroque periods, comprising some truly magnificent marvels of architecture. Among the featured landmarks here are the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona,...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 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
"Roman Holiday" Movie Walking Tour

"Roman Holiday" Movie Walking Tour

"Roman Holiday" (1953) is a movie, filmed entirely in Rome and beloved by generations of people. Starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, the film won three Oscars, giving Hepburn a boost to her glorious film career. The main storyline centers around a day of freedom in the beautiful Italian capital for an otherwise duty-bound Princess Ann. Take the following tour to live the happiest...  view more

Tour Duration: 4 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 9.0 Km or 5.6 Miles
Spanish Steps to Trevi Fountain

Spanish Steps to Trevi Fountain

An established tourist mecca, today's Rome is hardly imaginable without two of its much loved attractions – the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain. Magnets for tourists as they are, these two sights are surrounded with a number of other, not less worthy of attention locations, such as the Fountain of the Longboat, Keats-Shelley Memorial House, Piazza Colonna and its centerpiece, the...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles
Ancient Rome around Colosseum

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Undoubtedly, Rome's ancient past has been the main Roman attraction for centuries, drawing millions of tourists to the Eternal City each year. The Colosseum and the surrounding sights, like the Arch of Constantine, Palatine Hill, Imperial Fora, Roman Forum and other monuments – or rather what's left of them now – are the stately reminders of what was once the center of one of the...  view more

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

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Vatican City is a landlocked sovereign city-state consisting of an enclave within the city of Rome, it is the smallest recognized independent state in the world. The Vatican is one of the most sacred places in Christendom, it attests to a great history and a formidable spiritual venture. Although only 44 hectares in overall surface, the Vatican features several worthwhile places to see, such as...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles

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