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Fountain of the Four Rivers – Rome, Italy, Europe

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The Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi or “Fountain of the Four Rivers” is a fountain in Rome, Italy, located in the urban square of the Piazza Navona. It was designed in 1651 by Gianlorenzo Bernini for Pope Innocent X whose family palace, the Palazzo Pamphili, faced onto the piazza as did the church of Sant’Agnese in Agone of which Innocent was the sponsor.
The base of the fountain is a basin from the centre of which travertine rocks rise to support four river gods and above them, an ancient Egyptian obelisk surmounted with the Pamphili family emblem of a dove with an olive twig. Collectively, they represent four major rivers of the four continents through which papal authority had spread: the Nile representing Africa, the Danube representing Europe, the Ganges representing Asia, and the Plate representing the Americas. Read the rest of this entry

The Peterhof Palace – Russian, Europe

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The Peterhof Palace (Russian: Петерго́ф, Petergóf, (“h” is commonly/historically transliterated as “г” (g) in Russian, so German Peterhof is transliterated as “Петергoф” Petergof into Russian) for “Peter’s Court”) is actually a series of palaces and gardens located in Saint Petersburg, Russia, laid out on the orders of Peter the Great. These Palaces and gardens are sometimes referred as the “Russian Versailles”. The palace-ensemble along with the city centre is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The dominant natural feature of Peterhof is a sixteen-metre-high bluff lying less than a hundred metres from the shore. The so-called Lower Gardens (Nizhny Sad), at 1.02 km² comprising the better part of Peterhof’s land area, are confined between this bluff and the shore, stretching east and west for roughly 200 metres. The majority of Peterhof’s fountains are contained here, as are several small palaces and outbuildings. East of the Lower Gardens lies the Alexandria Park with 19th-century Gothic Revival structures such as the Kapella. Read the rest of this entry