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Piazza di San Ignacio

Piazza di San Ignacio (52)

This square is one of the best works by the architect Filippo Ragunzzini. Its curvilinear shape and the fantastic surrounding balconies make the square seem like a stage in a theatre. It is one of the masterpieces of Rococo architecture. 

On one side of the square is the church de San Ignacio de Loyola, which was built in 1650 by Pope Gregory XV, in honour of Saint Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuit order. 

Of great note on the interior is the large fresco of the central nave entitled “Apotheosis of Saint Ignatius”, by Andrea Pozzo. If you take a good look at the dome, you will see that the perspective of the painting becomes distorted when you move. This is because when it was painted, it was impossible to finish it. Pozzo himself therefore painted on a large circular canvas that simulated the inside of the dome. 

The church has some great decoration, based on coloured marble, precious gems, stuccoes and work in gold. Observe the tomb of Saint Aloysius and the friezes by Algardi, which are considered to be some of the best of the Baroque period. You will also see four large female figures that represent the four continents upon which the Jesuits worked as missionaries. 

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