Fountain of Neptune, Fountain of the Moor

Fontana del Nettuno, Fontana del Moro

Piazza Navona is home to three fountains: the Fountain of the Four Rivers, Fountain of Neptune and Fountain of the Moor. Moor Fountain is placed in the southern part of the square. Initially the fountain did not have any sculptures (built in the late XVI century), later Bernini made the figure of the Moor, the rest of the sculptures were erected in the XIX century. The Moor Fountain has the following history: in the end of the XVI century Pope Gregory XIII asked the famous Roman architect Giacomo della Porta to decorate the square with a fountain. By the time Della Porta had already finished the gorgeous Church of the Gesu, made the Pope’s wish come true. Two centuries past the Pamphili family decided to reconstruct the Moor Fountain and entrusted great Bernini the task to create the design of the central figure of the fountain – the moor that fights a dolphin. The project was carried out by sculptor Giovanni Antonio Mari and in 1654 the fountain was finished. Some historians say that in fact Bernini’s though was to not create a statue of a moor in the center of the fountain, but a statue of Triton, the son of Poseidon. In 1874 the sculpture of the moor was sent to the Villa Borghese.

The statue we see today is a work by Luigi Amici. In 2011 a vagabond got into the fountain and vandalized the innocent moor. Imagine it was Bernini’s original standing there?! The Fountain of Neptune, located at the northern part of the square was erected there in the end of the XVI century with no sculptures. Neptune and the surrounding statues date back to the XIX century. The Fountain of Neptune was under construction during several decades because the architects and sculptors who were involved in the construction wanted to make it the same style the square had, and was completed in 1878 by Antonio della Bitta. The sculptor added the central statue of "Neptune fighting with an octopus" and the other sculptors added some sculptures based on myths.

Address: Piazza Navona
Coordinates: 41.899819, 12.473042