Piazza Navona - Fountain of Four Rivers - FURTHER INFORMATION
Piazza Navona - Fountain of Four Rivers - Rome visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Piazza Navona - Fountain of Four Rivers' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Roma.
Panorama from Piazza Navona in Rome taken near to the Fontana dei Quatro Fiumi (Fountain of Four Rivers). Above the statues from which the waters flow rises a tall obelisk from Egypt, not visible in this panoramic photograph. The huge Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi dominates the centre of the long oval of Piazza Navona. A huge number of cafés and restaurants that line the edges of the piazza, serving food for all budgets. The Piazza Navona lies just a short walk from the Pantheon of Rome.
Piazza Navona started off life in 85 AD as the Stadium of Domitian, built in to hold some 30,000 spectators. The square still retains the original shape. Most of the streets lead into Piazza Novana at points where the gates to the original stadium stood. Athletes used to enter along Via Agonale, and the area was known as Campus Agonis in the middle ages. From this through 'in Agonale' and 'n'Agona' the name 'Navona' is derived. After the fall of Rome Piazza Navona fell into disrepair and was used
Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers)
This is one of Bernini’s most famous works, along with the Piazza S Pietro in the Vatican. The base of the fountain holds four colossal statues representing four major rivers of the then known world:
Danube for Europe
Ganges for Africa
Nile for Egypt (with a covered face as the source of the river was not known at the time)
Rio della Plata for America.
Each figure is semi-prostrate before the obelisk places at the centre of the tower, symbolizing the sovereignty of the pope over the temporal domains. The obelisk itself was made in Egypt for Domitian and originally stood in the Circus of Maxentius on Via Appia. After the fall of Rome it lay there broken into 5 pieces for centuries before being moved to the Piazza Navona.