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Fountain of the Four Rivers
Local name: Fontana dei Fiumi
The Fountain of the Four Rivers is one of the most famous fountains of Rome situated in the heart of Navona Square. All sculptures and decorations found here have symbolic significance. Above the pool of the fountain rises rock embodying chaos. The four giants symbolize four rivers: the Nile, the Danube, Rio de la Plata and the Ganges, from four known continents at the time: Africa, Europe, America and Asia. Above this composition stands an old Roman obelisk (which is a copy of Egyptian obelisks) topped with a figure of a pigeon with an olive branch.
The Fountain of the Four Rivers was erected in 1650-1651 at the request of Pope Innocent X. It was designed by a brilliant Baroque architect by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The construction of the monument to emphasize the significance and wealth of the Pope encountered social resistance. The ceremonial unveiling of the fountain combined with the bustling festival took place on June 12, 1651. The ceremony was paid for by the papal Pamphili clan, and the Vatican police agents kept watch.