Fountain of the Moor Rome

The Fountain of the Moor (Fontana del Moro) is one of three fountains that embellish the Piazza Navona in Rome, the other two being the Fountain of Neptune and the Fountain of the Four Rivers.

Fountain of the Moor Rome

Fountain of the Moor Rome
The fountain of the Moor in Piazza Navona.

It was built in 1574 during the reign of Pope Gregory XIII Boncompagni. The architect was Giacomo della Porta, but Bernini completely restored it in 1653, having been told to do so by Innocence X Pamphilj.

A later restoration (1874) saw the four Tritoni and masks substituted with copies made by Luigi Amici. The original Tritons supposedly still exist, but nobody knows exactly in which municipal deposit they are being kept.

The name “Fontana del Moro” comes from the central sculpture (designed by Bernini, sculpted by Giannantonio Mari). The facial features of the creature seem to be those of a “moro“, but Bernini really had a Triton in mind while designing the sculpture.

The moor, or Triton, is standing in a conch shell and is seen wrestling a dolphin. The basin itself is made of pink marble.

Latest Fountain of the Moor news:

  • Early in the morning of September 3 2011, the Fountain of the Moor was vandalized. An as of yet unidentified man repeatedly hit one of the statues adorning the fountain with a stone, thereby damaging one of its ears. Three hours later the same man was filmed throwing a heavy cobblestone at the Trevi Fountain (without causing damage). Unfortunately restoration work will have to wait until October, since September temperatures would not be beneficial to the kind of glue used in the process. The man who caused the damage, a vagabond, was later captured by the police. His reason for the attack on the fountain was that he wanted attention, he said.

Piazza Navona – Rome

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