Located in the very middle of Piazza Navona, the Fountain of the Four Rivers is a masterpiece from Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680). The four allegorical human figures assembled in various poses on rocks represent the great rivers of the four continents known at that time: the Nile, Ganges, Danube and Rio de la Plata.
Popular legend has it that the Nile is covering his eyes so a not to see the façade of the Church of St. Agnese in Agone, built by Bernini’s great rival Francesco Borromini.
In truth the gesture is an allusion to the fact that the source of the Nile had not been identified. The fountain was moreover completed several years before Borromini built the church.