The Fountain of the 4 Rivers in Rome, in the centre Piazza Navona, was created by the famous sculptor Bernini in 1651 and symbolizes the 4 known continents, across the Danube, the Ganges, the Nile (with a veiled face because the sources of the river were not yet known) and the Rio de la Plata (opposite the church Sant'Agnese).
At the time of the construction of this fountain, the coasts of the first islands of Oceania were barely discovered, without knowing what they were. We won't explore them until later.
Surrounded by the 4 continents, it was Rome that was at the centre of the world.
The fountain of the 4 rivers is surmounted by an obelisk from the Maxentius circus and brought back from Egypt. This massive obelisk rests on the thin vault of a cave, which reinforces the spectacular character of the fountain, Bernini's major work.
And the doves carved around the monument and at the top of the obelisk are those of peace, certainly, but also the emblem of the Innocent X family. Then, consequently, this dove can be interpreted as the symbol of the Pamphili family, rich and powerful enough to be placed in the centre of Rome… and the world.
In front of this fountain of the 4 rivers, the Church of Saint Agnes is the work of Francesco Borromini, Bernini's rival, although other architects have transformed it: Girolamo Rainaldi, Carlo Rainaldi, Bernini himself and Pierre de Cortone.
Pictures taken by me in march 2015