The Fontana del Prigione (Fountain of the Jail) is a well-traveled fountain that nowadays is located in the Trastevere district in Rome.
Fontana del Prigione Rome
Address, opening hours and admission
Address: Via Goffredo Mameli – Rome. Opening horus and admission: The fountain can be seen from outside.
History and description
It was originally placed in the Giardino di Villa Montalto Peretti all’Esquilino, at the time the biggest private property with the city walls. When, at the end of the 19th century, the Esquilino district was completely restructured in order to create space for the new central railway station Roma Termini the villa was destroyed and the fountain was dismantled in order to be rebuilt later in the Via Genova.
Then, in 1938, the Palazzo del Viminale had to be built and the Fontana del Prigione was moved again, this time to its permanent spot in the Via Goffredo Mameli on the slope of the Janiculum hill in the quarter of Trastevere. The spot was chosen in order to create a harmonious background view for the Via Manara.
Parts of the fountain, as it can be admired now, belonged to the original version and other parts are copies.
Domenico Fontana, who was also the architect of the Villa Montalto itself, was the creator of the Fontana del Prigione. It is characterized by an alcove with an amply guirlanded alcove in the middle. The water comes out of a lion’s head (both the lion and the guirlande are symbols on the coat-of-arms of Pope Sixtus V, the villa’s owner) into a basin decorated with 6 pillars. The statue of the prisoner, which gave the fountain its name, has unfortunately gone lost, just like those of Apollo and Venus on its sides and the head of the God Aesculapius that used to crown the fountain.
In 2006 the Fontana del Prigione was completely restored.