|The town of Messina
Tourism in Messina
The Fountain of Orion, placed in piazza Duomo in Messina, was finished in 1553 by Giovanni Angelo Montorsoli (1507-1563) disciple of Michelangelo.
The important structure raises to completion of civic aqueduct which furnished the town with waters of Camaro and at the same time it should embellished the square and to supply citizens with water.
To obviate damages caused by the using, in 1612 was arranged iron gates which left however free the external basins to allow citizens to draw water. In 1855 the present railing which completely closes the fountain was arranged.
Photo © Edas
The fountain has a dodecagonal base and is on more levels according to a Renaissance typology, convenient to messinese particular necessities through the adoption of a complex figurative decoration inferred from the classical mythology and adapted to purposes of celebration of monument.
Under the font there is a terminal part of the aqueduct with an important inscription: NILVS ECO ICNOTVM SEPTENA PER OSTIA FESSUS HIC CAPVT IN CREMIO ZANCLA REPONO TVO. The whole font has built with precious marbles.
On the base raises the basement of the fountain which runs on three steps and keeps a dodecagonal plan.
Inlaids of white and black marble adorn the structure.
Photo © Turi Calvino
The great dodecagonal basin shows four hollow sides in which there are as many oval basins while eight dados set externally support as many statues of black stone representing mythological monsters.
The great basin is besides supported by a series of half-lenght figures caryatids and telamones, while on the four hollow sides are laid statues representing rivers Tiber, Nile, Ebro and Camaro which flow water in the basins under the upside-down pitchers.
The complex sculptured decoration testifies the remote origins of the town, attributed to mythic hunter Orion.