The Fountain of the 99 spouts: mystery and imagination

Fontana delle novantanove cannelle dell’Aquila - The Fountain of the 99 Spouts

Legends and mysteries related to the Knights Templar hover over the Fountain of the 99 spouts in L’Aquila. After all, as Umberto Eco once explained “everything has something to do with the Templars” (although he quickly added, “when someone brings up the Templars, they are almost always crazy”).

So, it is virtually impossible to tell if there is some truth in the thicket of symbolic and numerological references – often pointing to the famous medieval chivalric order – which over the centuries were layered over the history of the beautiful Abruzzo fountain, probably built in 1272.

The number 99 is subject to various interpretations, the most common and widespread of which correlates it to the 99 castles that contributed to the foundation of L’Aquila (although many will already object, of course, that there were far fewer castles at the time when the city was built).

Some even recall the relationship between L’Aquila and Jerusalem, where the Templars were established in 1099 to defend Christian pilgrims. According to legend, the knights hid some relics from the Holy Land somewhere in the city: 9 of them dug for 9 years in the Temple of Solomon, searching for the Ark of the Covenant, which was kept in a large room of 9 by 9 meters…

You could follow the numbers and get lost in the legends because, as Eco noted, “if you to want to find a connection you will always find one, everywhere and in everything. The world explodes in a web, in a whirlwind of relationships and everything leads to everything, everything explains everything…”

Instead, let’s simply enjoy the beauty of this magnificent square.

©Randy Scherkenbach, ©defoe.px, ©Erik Pettinari, ©Patrizio Romano

May 9, 2016

The Fountain of the 99 spouts: mystery and imagination

L'Aquila
Piazza San Vito
Regione Abruzzo: +39 0862 6451