Ganges and the Fountain of the Four Rivers

Do you know the “Fountain of the Four Rivers” (La Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi) in Rome’s Piazza Navona?? One of the four rivers that make up that gorgeous baroque fountain is Ganges! Known as Ganga in Hindi, Ganges is the sacred river in Hinduism believed to have the purest water. Everyday millions of people throng on its shore to receive salvation and blessings. It is quite common in Hindu households to keep a bottle of Ganga water at home. Even a person’s last ashes are thrown into the river as a symbol of purifying the soul.

The River God Ganges with an oar on the left

About the Fountain of the Four Rivers

Ganges is one of the four rivers depicted in the Fountain of the Four Rivers and is a great example of “India in Italy”. The fountain, designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in the 17th century, sits in the middle of the bustling square called Piazza Navona. With a 52 ft. obelisk, a lion and and four giant sea gods, this work of art is breathtaking!

The fountain of four rivers, as it is so rightly named, shows four rivers from four different continents/corners of the world. The rivers are:

  1. Ganges representing Asia
  2. Nile representing Africa
  3. Danube representing Europe
  4. Rio de la Plata representing America
Fountain of the Four Rivers- Ganges

About Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona is one of the first piazze that I visited in Italy! With its luscious fountains and ornate palazzi, it is absolutely the most beautiful squares of the Eternal City. Furthermore, it is lined with baroque fountains and colorful restaurants which makes it charming. In other words walking in this square is nothing but a treat!

Image Credits: Pixabay

Check this Drone video of Rome-The Fountain of Four Rivers is at 1:46!

Further Reading on Rome:

Tazza d’Oro: Coffee near The Pantheon

Street Art in Rome

Thursday Doors from Rome by Manja


  • […] Ganges and the Fountain of Four Rivers […]

  • Shabby Sheep Design
    June 14, 2020 at 1:07 pm

    We were there just a couple of days ago! Because we live in Italy we were able to travel to Rome freely and having missed out on Piazza Navona last visit we spent a lot of time hanging out there this time. We also visited the museo underneath the Piazza of the Roman stadio on top of which the Baroque piazza is built. Amazing. And our guide told us a couple of hidden secrets about the background to the building of the Sculpture on the Fountain too in respect of feud that took place between its architect and the one who built the church opposite. There are subtle elements of one of the figures on the fountain which shout out ‘your church isn’t built vertically’ and a response on the statue a lady high up on the church which says ‘Ha! what do I care’.

    • Italophilia
      June 15, 2020 at 12:21 pm

      Great to know you guys made it to rome and see Piazza Navona too 🙂 Its always nice to know an extra bit of information that can be sometimes termed as hidden secret. hehe

  • LuLu B - Calabrisella Mia
    June 13, 2020 at 12:57 am

    On my last trip to Rome, I got to see Piazza Navona at night and it was so beautiful. The fountain takes on a whole new look at night and I enjoyed the street artists – it also wasn’t super crowded! I highly recommend visiting the square at night for a new perspective!

    • Italophilia
      June 13, 2020 at 11:37 am

      I’ve been at night several times 🙂

  • […] As an Indian in love with all things Italian, I tend to find Italy in India and India in Italy (for example Ganga is one of the rivers in the sculptor of the Fountain of Four Rivers in Rome!) So you can imagine my reaction when I saw Statue of Prince of Kohlapur, India in Parco delle […]

  • karenincalabria
    June 11, 2020 at 2:11 am

    So amazing! I remember learning of this and being amazed at every aspect of this gorgeous fountain. When you think that they were so sophisticated in the middle of the 17th century, to create this fountain representing rivers from all over the world. And now we have the most detailed maps at our fingertips and people don’t know the names of neighboring countries… The fountain is spectacular.

    • Italophilia
      June 11, 2020 at 10:02 am

      You’re so right! We don’t even know the most basic things. They were definitely a notch above us. Thanks for your comment as always!

  • Manja Mexi Mexcessive
    June 10, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    Oh, Piazza Navona is my mom’s favourite part of Rome! And it’s her birthday today! How lovely. 🙂 I love it too and take the photo of this exact window whenever I’m there. Too bad there is an ugly shop just underneath. Interesting about the rivers, I didn’t know that. I love the aerial shot of the piazza too. And thank you so much for linking to my Roman doors. 🙂

    • Italophilia
      June 10, 2020 at 5:01 pm

      I remember before visiting, I saw some pictures online and was awe struck!! Its such a gorgeous part of Rome sans the selfie stick sellers. Happy to link it bella!


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