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Sant'andrea al Quirinale

Sant'andrea al Quirinale (28)

In 1658 the Jesuits decided to build a church for their novices, and they made it in the Strada Pia, the avenue that Michelangelo had designed to join the Porta Pia and the Palazzo del Quirinale.

It was Cardinal Camillo Pamphili who had the sense to entrust this project to Bernini who was in his full artistic maturity. Known as “the pearl of Baroque” for its impressive interior in pink marble, in Sant’Andrea al Quirinale there are many inscriptions of the emblem “Iesus Hominum Salvator”, which means “Jesus, saviour of men”. This is due to its already mentioned Jesuit origins. 

The portico of the church is startling, while the welcoming interior has a deeply emotive, even dramatic effect. This church is usually considered as Bernini’s masterpiece in ecclesiastical architecture, a jewel in the form of an oval and with a spectacular interior.  

This visit must really be seen as an absolute must if you come to the Italian capital. Look at the gold ceiling, the coloured marbles, the darkness of the chapels and the four veined columns. Also notice the cherubs descending from the small cupola.

You should also not miss either the sacristy surrounded by walnut or the Chapel of Saint Stanislaus, a Jesuit novice who died in 1568, at the age of 19, in the adjoining convent. The Polish saint was brilliantly immortalised in marble by Pierre Legros.

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