Supplying Water to Borgo: Fountain of Santa Maria Maggiore
After the competition of bringing the Aqua Paola to Rome, and the completion of the two large fountains, one at Janiculum Hill and the other at the end of via Giulia, Pope Paul V moved to new projects. He described his newest project, saying it would be supplying water to the Borgo, a district that had no water. Squeezed between the Tiber and the Vatican, the Borgo was small area. Pope Paul V, used the aqua Felice to decorate the square located in front of the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore.
Sixtus V had raised all of the old obelisks lying about Rome, so in 1613 and the May of the following year, Pope Paul V took a fluted column taken from the meager remains of Constantine’s basilica in the Forum. Paul placed a statue of “Her Most High Majesty the Queen of Heaven”, inside a half moon, with her baby in her arms on top of the column. The model of the fountain was created by French sculptor Guillaume Berthelot, and Carlo Maderno was in charge of the construction. Maderno was also involved in the the façade of the Vatican Basilica, as well as being the architect of the Reverend Fabric of St. Peters.
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