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Fontana della Barcaccia

The Fontana della Barcaccia (Fountain of the Ugly Boat) is a Baroque fresh-water fountain in Piazza di Spagna in Rome, just below the Spanish Steps. It is so named because it is in the shape of a half-sunken ship with water overflowing its bows. The fountain was commissioned by Pope Urban VIII and was completed in 1627 by Pietro Bernini and his sonGian Lorenzo Bernini.The shape was chosen because, prior to the river walls being built, the Tiber often flooded and in 1598 there was a particularly bad flooding and the Piazza di Spagna was flooded up to a metre. Once the water withdrew, a boat was left behind in the square.



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