Poland's Multimedia Fountains
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small, Poland's Multimedia Fountains, 'Water Symphony' at the Warsaw Multimedia Fountain in 2013, photo: Grażyna Myślińska / Forum, multimedialny-park-fontann-fot-grazyna-myslinska-forum.jpg
Every summer water shoots into the warm air, adorned with a laser show and 3D projections at dusk. The reflection of the lights is a view to behold, and the wind sprays onlookers with the fountain’s mist if they sit too close.
Thousands of flashes and mobile phones record this phenomenon every weekend. While musical fountains have been around for decades, it seems that here in Poland – where they are called fontanna multimedialna – they are not only a place for tourists to congregate, but they offers a popular recreation zone during day and night.
The first musical fountain was made in Romania by a mechanical engineer, Peter Bodor. Bodor created a hydraulic system to animate a fountain in Targu-Mures. Over the years the technology was reproduced and this type of attraction started to become popular in parks and world exhibitions in the United States. One of the most well-known multimedia fountains in America is The Bellagio Hotel's in Las Vegas, as seen in the popular film Ocean's Eleven. Moreover, there are countless musical fountains around the world, with the largest located in Dubai.
One of the largest European multimedia fountains is in Wrocław. It was built in 2009 at the historical and magnificent Centennial Hall. The Fontanna Multimedialna in Wrocław is 1 hectare in size, and is equipped with several water pumps, lights, and automated water screens that feature shows every weekend. The fountain also serves as an ice rink during winter.
Wrocław isn’t the only Polish city to boast a spectacular multimedia fountain. In 2011 the Multimedialny Park Fontann opened in Warsaw near Nowe Miasto and along the Wisła River. Funded by the city, the MPWiK (Municipal Water and Sewage bureau) and the European Union, the fountain is one of the highlights of the Varsovian summer. During the day families gather to cool off, while at night thousands of tourists come to witness the spectacle of lasers and projections that has new themes every year. The Fontanna Multimedialna in Warsaw is located near Kościelna Street, where a towering statue of Maria Skłodowska-Curie stands.
While these types of fountains are not unknown in America, their recreational virtue in Poland is a phenomenon. Each fountain serves not only as a tourist attraction, but also as a permanent recreation area where people from all walks of life come together to interact with each other, a phenomenon that usually occurs in the central squares of each city. The Multimedialny Park Fontann in Warsaw is also connected to a wonderful system of bicycle paths, the scenic Royal Route, and a family area sponsored by the city. Moreover, this area has attracted businesses and restaurants.
Throughout Poland several multimedia fountains have been built, and they have also become recreational attractions in their respective cities: Toruń (2008), Łódź (2009), Kraków (2010), Szczecin (2011), Rzeszów (2013), and Bydgoszcz (2014).
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