Tampere University of Technology

TUTCRIS Research Portal

Short Global History of Fountains

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2314-2348
Number of pages35
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2015
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Water fountains are part of every human settlement, and historical and mythological stories. They are the source from which life-sustaining water was distributed to people until piped systems started providing fresh tap water inside buildings. In many places, people visit fountains to experience the freshness of running water, to prepare for prayers, or to make a wish. Fountains have also provided water for the people of cities under siege, and purified believers as part of holy rites. The Castalia shrine in Delphi, Greece, for its part, is a spot where various groups of people come to socialize, which greatly improves the quality of their lives. This paper is a look back through the history of fountains in various parts of the world. Experts from various areas have identified the historic, cultural, and ritualistic aspects of fountains and their findings are summarized. The paper concludes by providing a glimpse into the role of fountains in modern society and their continued influence in our lives today.


  • Chinese civilizations, Egyptians, Etruscans, Minoans, Hellenes, Medieval times, Ottomans, Romans, water distribution, water supply systems, URBAN WATER, SYSTEMS

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland