Wednesday, September 15, 2010

sant'agnese in agone

Sant'Agnese in Agone is a Baroque basilica built in the late 1600s on the site of the Circus of Domitian, where Saint Agnes was martyred in 304 AD at the age of 12. Read her disturbing biography here.

Where the Circus of Domitian footrace stadium once stood, is now Piazza Navona–one of Rome's most visited landmarks.


  1. When I was at school my "house" was St Agnes, also called "lambs" so now I know all about the unfortunate Agnes. Thanks - a most interesting post.

  2. Piazza Navona is one of my favourite spots in Rome. There is something about that huge square surrounded by buildings the colour of terracotta caramel ... and then thoswe 3 beautiful fountains - I think I could sit here all evening and write about the unique atmosphere of this square. Ah, it's been too long since I was in Rome :(

  3. This is a beautiful church. Both the exterior and the interior represent the finest of Baroque design. (Thank Borromini) After seeing its magnificent exterior facade, the interior is surprisingly intimate. Bernini's fountain in front is gorgeous, too. Someone told me he read that the figure in the fountain showing fear of the snake actually represents Bernini's dislike of his rival's church.

    Nice phots, Eleonora. (Of course!)

  4. At last! With beautiful photo! Today I was planning to write toyou about your disappearance from CDP.
    Then friend of mine told me when we were lunching how she liked CDP, specially Roma blog.
    Don't you feel the responsibility for more frequent posts???)))

  5. When I was here last May the fountain of the four Rivers was scaffolded for works. I am happy that now it is completely free and beautiful as ever.

  6. Jeff~ It is often said that Bernini sculpted the figures of the fountain of the 4 Rivers in front of S. Agnese cowering and disgusted implying the facade designed by his rival Borromini could crumble any minute. This story, like many urban legends, persists because it has a ring of authenticity; Borromini and Bernini clearly became rivals, and more, for architectural commissions. Most prominently, an official commission was established to study defects that had arisen in the foundations of the belltowers (built under Bernini's guidance) in the facade of Saint Peter's Basilica. In testimony before the commission, Borromini was one of many harsh critics that assailed the project's engineering. Ultimately, in a severe blow to Bernini's prestige as an architect, the facade bell-towers were torn down, and never rebuilt. The story about the 4 river fountain, however, remains highly improbable, since Bernini's fountain predates Borromini's facade by some years!

    Irina~ Strange that you say I don't update my blog, because I have posted nearly twice a week for some time now! Please visit Roma Every Day and see for yourself!

    VP~ I know it's a gorgeous structure, especially in early morning light! Finally visible!!

    Chieftess~ Thank you!

  7. Caroline~ I'm glad you liked it! Thank you for stopping by.
    Costas~ My little sister took first communion here, it's lovely inside too!!
    Tracy~ Ah, thank you so much! You can send it as an e-card, you know! Or buy a print!! ;)
    Loree~ There's only one way to sort that out... book flights NOW! :)

  8. Eleonora, I love being educated. Gracie!

    If I make it to Rome again (maybe spring 2011) I hope I can meet up with you and I can learn more about your great city.

  9. Hello Lola, The light is beautiful coming threw! Wish I could attend!
    Thank you for sharing:)

  10. Jeff~ Looking forward to meeting you here!
    CChuck~ I'm happy you like it. Ciao


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