Ignatius of Loyola was a Spanish knight who, after a debilitating injury, had a long recuperation period. It was during this time that he did a lot of reading and determined that if he could no longer be a warrior, then he would dedicate his life to God and be a soldier for Him. Loyola is the founder of the Society of Jesus, known as the Jesuits, who were instrumental in enforcing the dictates of the Catholic Church’s Counter Reformation period – and not always in a good way. But equally important, the Jesuits believed that people, no matter how poor, should have the opportunity to learn and they taught reading, which helped increase literacy rates and the lives of many people. Even today, the Jesuits run many universities under the name of Loyola, determined to continue their belief in education.
The Church of Sant’ Ignazio di Loyola is dedicated primarily to this man and his works. It was built in the 1600s after Loyola was made a saint. Ironically, Loyola’s tomb is not in the church named after him, but rather is in the Gesu, the official Jesuit church of Rome. But Sant’ Ignazio does a pretty awesome job at commemorating the man and the work of the Jesuits. Three large paintings behind the altar depict scenes from Loyola’s life.
As you enter the church, to the right is a model of a large round structure on which the “façade” are many of the Jesuit churches worldwide. It is organized by continent and the churches are labeled.
Be sure to explore the wonderful ceiling in this church – see my next tip about it.
The real reason to visit Sant’ Ignazio di Loyola – I think it is a must-see for Rome – is the ceiling. The ceiling is a marvel in paint and, if it is not offensive to say it, I think it rivals the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling! In the nave, the ceiling depicts the world-wide works of the Jesuits painted by Jesuit artist Andrea Pozzo. The painting creates the illusion that the ceiling is much higher from the Baroque technique quadratura which uses painted architectural structures to give the impression that the walls extend higher than they really are. As you look up at the vaulted ceiling, you get the feeling that it is opened up and the blue sky is above as people from all over the world are taken up into the clouds.
The church also has a unique dome – it is a fake dome made purely of paint. The initial plans for the church included a dome, but a local convent complained that real dome would ruin their view, so Pozzo instead painted one in the transept. The best viewing location for this fake dome is not directly underneath, although I recommend you do that. But rather, from underneath, walk out towards the nave and you will see how the dome begins to take the shape of a dome.
The best spot in the church to view the vaulted ceiling is in the center of the nave – there is a circular gold marker on the floor (probably surround by people looking up). From that vantage point, you can get the full illusion of the ceiling as Pozzo planned it.
Sant Ignazio is a roman catholic church was built in 1650 by architect Orazio Grassi in baroque style. It’s dedicated to St Ignatius of Loyola which was the founder of Jesuit order in 1540.
After spending some minutes on the square (piazza di Sant Ignazio) checking the building with the pastel colors (pic 2) we went inside and checked the interior (pic 3) where the spacious wide nave surprises the visitor while there are many side chapels.
Around the nave there are a lot of Corinthian columns but then we saw the painting up on the dome (pic 4) where we confused for a while as it it’s obviously a 3D painting! (early optical illusion?). It was made by Andrea Pozzo showing Sant Ignazio welcomed by Jesus Christ upon his arrival into paradise. There is a spot on the floor that you can really enjoy the painting but my pic from that spot didn’t get out well.
The church has also many other paintings of A.Pozzo, sculptures (pic 5) and tombs of Jesuit saint like St.Aloysius and St.John Berchmans
By the way Andrea Pozzo was a Jesuit himself and the same applies for the architect O.Grassi too.
The church is open daily 8.00-18.00
Chiesa di Sant'Ignazio di Loyola was built in 1626 by pope Gregory XV on the site of an older church. It is dedicated to Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit Order, and is thus a Jesuits church, much like the nearby Chiesa del Gesù. The Baroque church's flamboyant style was the Catholic answer to the austere style of the Reformation movement that was taking place in those days. The church's main features include the stunning frescoed ceiling, the unusual trompe l'oeil depicting the dome that was intended to be built but never was (see attached photos), and the incredible sculptures in the altar and side chapels.
The church for named for the founder of the Jesuits Ignazio Loyola, this is a very pretty church, far larger than one would think when looking at it from the entry. We enjoyed a choir from New York one evening.
Want to see an incredible ceiling but haven’t got time to go and visit the Vatican Museums? Check out this church, you won’t regret it. Andrea Pozzo painted a glorious ceiling ot celebrate St. Ignatius and the Jesuit order. The church hasn’t got a real dome, but an illusionistic one was painted instead.
The church of St. Ignazio was meant to have a dome over the crossing. However, they ran out of money and had an artist (Andrea Pozzo) paint a fake one in it's place. Walk down the center of the church and watch the dome as you move closer to it (look at the fresco on the ceiling too). As you move it will become more distorted. There is a mark on the floor which tells you the ideal place to view the frescos from.
Admire this lesser but beautiful square, not far from major attractions, such as the Pantheon or Piazza Venezia. The baroque church of Sant'Ignazio di Loyola was started in 1622 and finished 63 years later, without a dome for lacking of funds. So from inside you can see on the ceiling a perspective image of a fake "cupola" (dome) giving the impression of a real one ! :)
This square is the highlight of the Roman Rococo and Filippo Raguzinni's best work. The buildings pictured are so very different than anything else in the area. There are three of these buildings that are a stunning piece of architecture.
For a good look at Gothic and Baroque architecture at its finest, vist many of the churches that are open for viewing during the day. This picture is from Sant 'Ignazio di Loyola, which was built in 1626 and has a beautiful Baroque ceiling painted by Andrea Pozzo.
This lovely 17th century church has an amazing trompe l'oeil ceiling, painted by Andrea del Pozzo in the late 1600's. Staring up at it, you'd swear that the paintings were in 3D. Make sure you visit, you will regret it if you don't!