The Fountain of the Lateran Obelisk is located on Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano.
It is from the 1600s. It is placed against the north side of the imposing Lateran obelisk.
For this reason it is almost unnoticed since it is dominated by the obelisk.
At the base of it, Domenico Fontana, architect of pope Sixtus V, in charge of planning and arranging the roads of Rome, placed on three steps a fountain once surmounted by the statue of St. John the Evangelist.
Made of marble and travertine, it was built between 1603 and 1607 at the expense of the Lateran's Canons.
The fountain has the heraldic emblems of Pope Clement VIII of the Aldobrandini family, that is the counter-side band along the strip of the upper part of the monument, and the much more impressive ones of pope Paul V of the Borghese family (the work was in fact carried out during his pontificate), the eagle and the two winged dragons that frame the "panel" containing the tiara and the pontifical keys.
Then there are also a shell valve and two dolphins, which, with their tails crossed in the center, pour water (coming from the the Felice aqueduct) into a beautiful, elegantly shaped marble basin.
In ancient times there were also two bronze lilies, heraldic symbols of Pope Leo XI of the Medici Family, on the sides of a bronze statue of St. John the Evangelist, made by Taddeo Landini (he built also the Fountain of the Turtles in Rome), placed on the top platform. That statue, struck and mutilated by a lightning, was removed in the nineteenth century to be repaired, but since then there is no trace of it.
It is absolutely worth stopping for a few minutes and seeing the beautiful details of this small, beautiful and somewhat overlooked fountain.