The world's most romantic fountains

The world's most romantic fountains

Sky-high streams and trickling flows, fountains are wonderfully romantic – as Gwenllian Jones proves

Fontaine de Medicis, Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris

Built in the 17th century, the Medici Fountain (pictured) was created for Maria de' Medici following the death of her husband, Henry VI, the King of France. From her home in the Louvre, Maria requested that a new palace be built, one that would draw inspiration from her native Florence's Palazzo Pitti. In the same manner, the gardens were to be built to replicate, in part, the grounds of the Florentine palace - the famous Boboli Gardens.

The fountain remains to be one of the main features of the Jardin du Luxembourg, though it has undergone some changes over the years. The gentle trickle of water from the stone creates a tranquil atmosphere, perfect for a quiet afternoon stroll along the basin, shaded by the plane trees. And although the main statue - Polyphemus Surprising Acis and Galatea - is a striking piece of work, make sure you don't miss the more minor ones dotted around. Take your time to explore the surroundings, and let the hours melt away.

Cherry Hill Fountain, Central Park, New York

There's nothing that brightens up a romantic stroll quite like the bursting buds of cherry blossoms. The delicate hue of the flowers make for a stunning contrast with any sky - whether it be the grey of melting winter or the sapphire glow of spring. If you happen to be spending a leisurely hour in amongst them at Central Park's Cherry Hill, you'll undoubtedly come across this fountain.

For its legacy, the fountain itself is unassuming, but adorned with some charming details. Built in 1860, it stands in the middle of a wide clearing at just over four metres. The water flows from eight small gilded flowers into a circle of bowls, before spilling onto a granite dome and down to the shallow pool below. When darkness falls, the glass globes around the top light up, creating the perfect conditions for a serene stroll. For an added bit of romance, hop aboard one of the park's horse-drawn carriages, and relax.

Otowa Waterfall, Kiyomizudera temple, Kyoto

Situated in one of Japan's most venerated temples, you could be searching a long time for a setting as beautiful as Kiyomizudera's Otowa Waterfall. Built on the site of the waterfall in 780 AD, the temple's name translates to 'Pure Water Temple'. Visit in spring or autumn to marvel at the rupture of colour from the cherry blossoms and the maple trees below, and catch a view of Kyoto from above.

At the base of the main hall you'll find the sacred waterfall, falling gently over the stone roof in three separate streams. Each one has its own significance, so make your way underneath and use the long-stemmed cups to drink the water - but make sure that you only drink from one. If you're with your beloved, we suggest drinking from the stream that ensures a successful love life. But if you think you're all set in that department, you can choose from longevity of life or academic achievement. Drink in one gulp, or you might only receive a part of the benefits!

Afterwards, just to seal the deal, visit the nearby shrine of Jishu - the deity of love and matchmaking.

The Dubai Fountain, Burj Lake, Dubai

Dubai likes its superlatives - not only is it the home to the world's tallest building, but also to the world's largest performing fountain. This is definitely a spectacle, so if you want those oohs and aahs, there really isn't a better place! After a couple of shows in the afternoon, it's after dark that the Burj Lake really comes alive. The shows come one after the other, with barely any time to catch your breath in between. Think lights, music, and plenty of oomph as it pumps 83,000 litres of water into the air; each droplet illuminated by an entire spectrum of colour.

The fountain is visible from all around the promenade and the surrounding buildings - so you have plenty of opportunity to catch the best of the show. Book a balcony table at a restaurant and watch it over a bottle of wine, enjoy a lake-side spectacular (escaping the crowds might be more difficult on some days than others), or jump on a boat and get a front-row seat right on Burj Lake.

Dwynwen's Well, Llanddwyn, Wales

Technically, not a fountain - but bear with us.

Dwynwen herself lived during the 5th century. The daughter of the prince of Brecon, she fell in love, but was denied permission to marry by her father. Distraught, she was visited in a dream by an angel who turned her beloved to ice, in order to ease her pain. She then prayed for three things; for his revival, for herself to remain unmarried for the rest of her life - so she never had to marry someone she didn't love - and for God to look over all true lovers. She then retreated to the uninhabited island of Llanddwyn on the southern tip of Anglesey until her death. (There are alternative, more violent versions of the story, but we're sticking with this one).

In the Middle Ages, the ruins of her church became a pilgrimage site for lovers wishing to bless their relationships in the waters of its well. It was believed that the water was home to sacred fish, who could predict the fate of a relationship. So what are you waiting for? Surrounded by stunning beaches and hidden coves, you will rarely have to share the view. And there's no better time to visit - January 25th marks her feast day in Wales. So move over, St Valentine - here's the real deal.

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Image: Dreamstime

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