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Fountains (from the Latin word "fons" (collectively "Fontis"), fountains or springs) are buildings that pour water into a basin or spray it into the air to supply drinking water and / or for decoration or dramatic influence.

Fountains, originally purely functional, are connected to springs or aqueducts to provide drinking and bathing water for urban, urban and rural residents. Until the end of the 19th century, most fountains operated by gravity, requiring a higher source of water (such as a reservoir or aqueduct) than the fountains to flow or spray into the air.

In addition to providing drinking water, fountains are used to decorate and celebrate their builders. Roman fountains are decorated with bronze or stone masks of animals or heroes. In the middle ages, Moorish and Muslim garden designers used fountains to create miniature versions of Paradise gardens. French King Louis XIV used fountains in Versailles garden to show his power over nature. The Baroque decorated fountains of Rome in the 17th and 18th centuries marked the arrival of restored Roman aqueducts and glorified the Pope who built them.

By the end of the 19th century, with indoor water heating becoming the main source of drinking water, urban fountains became purely decorative. Mechanical pumps replace gravity and allow fountains to recycle water and push it into the air. The jetty on Lake Geneva was built in 1951, spraying water 140 meters (460 feet) into the air. The world's tallest fountain is the King Fahd fountain in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, which spews water 260 meters (850 feet) above the Red Sea.

Today, fountains are used to decorate city parks and squares. To commemorate an individual or an event; entertain. Splash boards or water spray pools allow city dwellers to get inside in summer, get wet and cool down. Music fountains combine flowing water, colored lights and recorded music, and are controlled by computers to produce dramatic effects. Drinking fountains provide clean drinking water in public buildings, parks and public places.