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Il Gesù

Il Gesù (49)

Il Gesù is the main church of the Jesuits, the Order founded by Saint Ignatius Loyola in the 16th century. Saint Ignatius was a Spanish soldier who joined the Church after being wounded in battle in 1521. He arrived in Rome in 1537, after founding his order, and sent missionaries all over the world with the aim of spreading Catholicism. 

The church of Il Gesù was built between 1568 and 1584 and its design represents the full splendour of Baroque. To differentiate themselves from the Protestants, who were in favour of simplicity, the Jesuits chose opulence. The extremely long nave made a deeper impression on the faithful entering into the church, and the darkness of the place underlined the presence of the priest on the altar. At the same time, the decoration full of gilts, marbles and silvers gave off a great effect of magnificence. In fact, this type of decoration has been imitated by all the Jesuit churches of the world. The façade, designed by Giacomo Della Porta, was also turned into a model to be copied.

Inside the Il Gesù, there are several chapels. We specially recommend the Chapel of Saint Francis Xavier and the Chapel of Saint Ignatius, where the saint is buried. 

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