A 16th- century villa in Tivoli, near Rome, famous for its terraced hillside Italian Renaissance garden and its profusion of fountains. Construction began in 1560 for Cardinal Ippolito II d'Este. Wikipedia has a nice article on the Villa's convoluted history.
Inside the villa
Frescoes, statues and paintings
The Gardens and Fountains
The Fountain of the Organ (‘’Fontana dell’Organo’’)
is one of the most famous features of the garden; it was described and imitated throughout Europe. Work on the masonry structure began in 1566. The fountain itself was made by the French fountain engineer Luc Leclerc and his nephew Claude Venard. After the death of Leclerc, Venard invented the ingenious mechanism of the water organ, which was installed in 1571.
The fountain was the first of its kind, and astonished everyone who heard it; when Pope Gregory XIII visited the villa in 1572, accompanied by his court of cardinals and princes, he insisted on inspecting the interior of the fountain, to learn if someone wasn't concealed inside making the music.
A massive masonry arch behind the fountain, the ‘’castellum aquae’’ or water castle, conceals the water reservoir and the hydraulic machinery of the fountain. The original design featured a grotto in the niche of the arch, with a view of the twenty-two pipes of the organ. A statue of ‘’Mother Nature’’ or the ‘’Ephesian Diana’’ was placed in front of the arch in 1569; it now has its own fountain in the lower garden.
The water creating the music arrived first at the top of the ‘’Castellum aquae’. It went first through a series of whirlpools, which mixed air with the water; then it dropped down a pipe into the ‘’camera aeolia’’, or wind chamber, where the air and water were separated; the water turned a wheel, rotating a cylinder which opened the valves of the twenty-two pipes, so the air could pass through the pipes and make the music. (thank you, Wikipedia)
The full-sized images are a much better look. Click here!
Amazing villa. We only had time for a couple of hours there. I didn't capture a lot of this amazing place.