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Fountains that really make a splash
From brilliant, symbolic architecture to fantastic fountain shows, these beautifully crafted water works seem like pure wizardry. Here are 10 famous fountains around the world worth seeing.
Photo courtesy of iStock / Nicola Forenza
Trevi Fountain | Rome, Italy
The Trevi Fountain in Rome is probably the most famous water fountain in the world. It was completed in 1762, 30 years after Nicola Salvi first began work on it. According to local legend, any visitor who throws a coin into Trevi Fountain will one day return to Rome – and an estimated 3,000 euros are thrown in each day.
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Prometheus Fountain | New York, New York
It's one of the most recognizable sights associated with New York City, but do you know its name? Seen front and center at every Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting – just below the massive spruce – is a bronze sculpture among fountains.
It's called the Prometheus Fountain, and it was crafted by Paul Manship in 1934.
Photo courtesy of iStock / juergen2008
Fountains of the Parc de Versailles | France
The gardens of Versailles, the summer hunting palace of the French monarchy, are famous for their musical fountains. There are nearly a dozen of them, each inspired by famous characters in mythology, such as Bacchus, Saturn and Apollo.
Photo courtesy of iStock / bluejayphoto
Jet d'Eau | Geneva, Switzerland
Geneva's Jet d'Eau on Lake Geneva shoots water over 450 feet into the air. Each second, the nozzle pumps more than 130 gallons of water at speeds of nearly 125 miles per hour. Be careful while viewing this famous landmark, as a slight change in wind direction has been known to drench spectators.
Photo courtesy of iStock / mpilecky
Buckingham Fountain | Chicago, Illinois
Located in Chicago's Grant Park, Buckingham Fountain was built in 1927 and remains one of the largest fountains in the world. The fountain was designed to symbolize Lake Michigan, with its four sea horses representing the four states that border the lake. Swing by at the top of every hour for a choreographed water show.
Photo courtesy of iStock / pius99
Moonlight Rainbow Fountain | Seoul, South Korea
Seoul's Banpo Bridge is home to the Moonlight Rainbow Fountain, the longest bridge fountain in the world. Nearly 10,000 LED nozzles are affixed to both sides of the bridge, responsible for generating 190 tons of water per minute. The water is illuminated in a rainbow of colors during shows.
Photo courtesy of E+ / eli_asenova
Dubai Fountain | Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The world's tallest performing fountain – fittingly situated on Burj Khalifa Lake in front of the world's tallest building – Dubai Fountain can shoot water up to 500 feet in the air. During fountain performances, the dancing water is choreographed with music, 6,600 lights and 50 colored projectors.
Photo courtesy of iStock / GBlakeley
World War II Memorial Fountain | Washington, DC
The World War II Memorial Fountain, located in the National Mall in Washington DC, was first dedicated in 2004 in honor of the men and women who served in the armed forces during World War II. The fountain's construction caused controversy, as critics didn't like that it interrupted the view between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.
Photo courtesy of E+ / fotoVoyager
Magic Fountain of Montjuic | Barcelona, Spain
Just below the Palau Nacional in Barcelona, you'll find the Magic Fountain of Montjuic, originally built for the 1929 World Fair. Thursday through Sunday evenings, you can stop by the fountain to see the water light up in different colors and dance to music.
Photo courtesy of iStock / scaliger
Fountains of Peterhof Palace | St. Petersburg, Russia
Known as the Russian Versailles, Peterhof Palace has its own set of magnificent fountains on the palace grounds near St. Petersburg. Statues in the center of the main fountain depict Samson tearing open the jaws of a lion, meant to symbolize Russia's victory over Sweden – whose coat of arms includes a lion – in the Great Northern War.