added by archaeologs
Literally, a building consecrated to the nymphs. It was a large and richlydecorated chamber, with columns, niches, and statues, and a fountain in the centre. Nymphaea were often erected near the head of a spring, and formed cool and agreeable retreats.
An ancient Greek and Roman sanctuary consecrated to water nymphs. It was an elaborately decorated public drinking fountain a semicircular monumental Classical fountain house. It often had niches filled with sculpture. The nymphs were associated with a range of natural features such as water, mountains, and trees. Nymphaea were often erected near the head of a spring. The nymphaeum served as a sanctuary, a reservoir, and an assembly chamber where weddings were held. The rotunda nymphaeum, common in the Roman period, was borrowed from such Hellenistic structures as the Great Nymphaeum of Ephesus. Nymphaea existed at Corinth, Antioch, and Constantinople; the remains of about 20 have been found in Rome; and others exist as ruins in Asia Minor, Syria, and North Africa. The word 'nymphaeum' was also used in ancient Rome to refer to a bordello and also to the fountain in the atrium of the Christian basilica.