Renässansvillan Villa d’este utanför Rom är känd för sina över femhundra fontäner, vattenspel och vattenöverraskningar, som alla drivs mekaniskt i gammal god ingenjörsanda. Vatten forslas med hjälp av tyngdkraften genom tunnlar under jord och leds till de olika installationerna där det naturliga trycket är allt som behövs. Också piporna I vattenorgeln drivs av vattnets tyngd/tryckkraft.
Villa d’este: Pirro Ligorio and Alberto Galvani 1550. Läs mer
Orgel och hydralulik: Claude Venard och Thomaso Chiruchi
Tivoli Villa d’Este near Rome is included in the Unesco world heritage list. The masterpiece Italian-style garden, the innovative and tasteful landscaping, the bewildering 500 fountains, water jets and water plays (giochi d’acqua), the troughs and pools, the cascades, the grottoes, the views, made it a world-acclaimed sight, and an early much-copied model for the development of European gardens.
To hear the sound of the fountains, turn on the volume.
The villa and its wondrous gardens (Giardino delle meraviglie) were built from 1570 AD by Cardinal Ippolito d’Este, who illustrated in an exceptional manner the principles of Renaissance design and aesthetics. Since WWI it belongs to the Italian state. Due to particularly unfavorable environmental conditions, the restorations have continued practically without interruption during the past twenty years (among these, the recent renovation of the Water Organ Fountain and of the Owl Fountain, or ”Birdsong”).
They were assisted by Thomaso Chiruchi, one of the most skilled hydraulic engineers of the sixteenth century, and by a Frenchman, Claude Venard, an experienced manufacturer of hydraulic organs.
The garden is organized in a combination of terraces and downward slopes. Central stairs lead down a wooded slope to three rectangular fishponds set on the cross-axis at the lowest point of the gardens, terminated at the right by the Water Organ fountain and by the Fountain of Neptune.
The Fontana dell’Ovato (Oval Fountain), also called Fontana di Tivoli (Tivoli Fountain), is near the Fountain of Neptune. The design is of Pirro Ligorio, while the rusticated arcade of the concave nymphaeum, peopled with marble nymphas, is by Giovanni Battista Della Porta. A visitor may walk behind the water through the arcade (currently this is not allowed). Above the nymphaeum you find three statues symbolizing the three rivers of Tivoli (Aniene, Erculaneo, Albuneo), and finally the sculpture of Pegasus.
It is said that the hydraulic-pneumatic technology of the famous 16th century Water Organ Fountain, a water-and-air-powered musical fountain, actually dates back to 1st-century Alexandria. It was designed by Claude Vernard. The magnificently arched and pedimented fountain was the wonder of its era, replete with the statues of Diana, Apollo and other wondrous carvings, loops and arches, reviving the myth of Orpheus. The Este’s heraldic eagle dominates the fountain.
The Rometta fountain or little Rome, reproduces allusive key-parts of the Eternal City. You find the she-wolf with the twins, Rome symbolized by a statue with armour, helmet and lance. At the feet of the statue, amid the water of a channel (the Tiber), there is a boat representing the Tiberina island, where the first inhabitants of Rome settled. Unfortunately the reproduction of the arch of triumph of Titus, of Septimius Severus, and of Constantine were lost, and also that of the Trajan column.
In the Owl fountain a hydraulic device uses the fall of water to move an artificial owl, making it approach the little bronze birds on a branch. The birds are thus frightened and stop twittering. The chirping is realized by outgoing air from the beak of the
The Hundred Fountains was chosen as location of different movies. It is a tree-lined avenue with fountains leading from the Oval Fountain to the Fountain of Rome (also known as ”Rometta”). The fountains are structured on three levels in which the waters of three ”rivers” Albuneo, Aniene, Ercolaneo slide symbolically.
They are the same rivers that ”come down” from cliffs of the upper floor of the Fountain of the Ovato. They meet in the end in the Fountain of the Rometta symbolizing the Tiber.
The one hundred fountains have the shape of lilies, eagles, obeliskes, small boats from which water comes out. The presence of lilies and eagles is connected to the coat of arms of the Este family.
In the middle of the avenue the vegetation opens into a wonderful balcony with a dominating central view of the gardens.
Built on the ruins of a Roman villa, it was first a Benedictine convent and then the Governor’s Palace, and as such it was magnificently restored by Pirro Ligorio on commission of Ippolito d’Este.
The rooms of the Palace were ambitiously decorated by the stars of the late Roman Mannerism, such as Livio Agresti and Federico Zuccari. The palace hosted the musician Franz Liszt (1811 – 1886), who composed Giochi d’acqua a Villa d’Este (Water plays at Villa d’Este) for piano while a guest here, and who in 1879 gave one of his final concerts.
The Villa is closed the following days: All Mondays, January 1st , May 1st, and December 25th. If Monday is a holiday, the monument will remain open and the weekly closure will then be postponed to the following business day.
Ticket prices: From June 14th to November 4th, 2007: € 9.00 full price – reduced price € 5.75. Reduced price tickets apply for all European Union citizens between the ages of 18 and 24, and for permanent teachers of state schools (upon presentation of identity documents). There is free admission for all European Union citizens under 18 and over 65, upon presentation of identity documents.
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