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Sant'Agnese in Agone
The 17th century Baroque church of Sant'Agnese in Agone was built on the site where the early christian Saint Agnese was martyred, in the ancient Stadium of Domitian. The church was built by the order of Pope Innocent X and was intended to be the family chapel, anexed to the Pope's residence Palazzo Pamphili which is adjacent to the church.
A number of famous architects were involved in the construction of the church, such as Girolamo e Carlo Rainaldi and two of the foremost Baroque architects of the day, Francesco Borromini and and the sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini.
There is interesting story which tells the origins of the name Agone. It was the ancient name for Piazza Navona (Piazza in Agone), coming from Greek and meant "instead" - in the site of the competitions. In Roman times Piazza Navona was stadium for footraces.
Church of Santa Agnese in Agone
Agone (agonistic) is a reference to the races which took place in the Stadium.
The initial plan for Santa Agnese was designed by Girolamo Rainaldi helped by his son Carlo. Work started in 1652, but one year later Francesco Borromini replaced Rainaldi and modified almost entirely the design of the façade, which was expanded to include parts of the Pamphili palace, thus gaining space to erect the two bell towers. Borromini designed also the dome on a high drum.
In 1655 Pope Innocentius X died and soon Borromini lost the support of Prince Camillo Pamphili who recalled Carlo Rainaldi, who completed the façade by 1666. Although Rainaldi modified some aspects of the façade, of the towers and of the dome the overall impression is of consistency in style.
Santa Agnese represented the solution vainly pursued for St Peter's by Bernini and it became a model for having a balance between the dome and the façade of a church. Each of the bell towers has a clock: this occurs also in St Peter's and in SS. Trinità dei Monti. The clocks indicated two different times: the Italian time and the European time (Tempo Ultramontano): W. J. Goethe gave a detailed description of the two practices in his Italienische Reise - September 17, 1786.
Typically, the church has the dove of the Pope everywhere.
Reference text by permission Roberto Piperno for non-commercial purpose only
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Church of Saint Agnese
I think the most symbolic picture i took in Rome in 1994.
The beautiful church of Saint Agnese and the fountain.
Bad and evil looking to a religious statue.
Naked and bidden for mercy - the Madonna will decide !
Most of the statues are inspired by Bernini and made by his assistants.
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chiesa di Sant'Agnese fuori le Mura
St. Agnes was a christian martyr burned alive in 303 ca. A.D. The church, built in the 7th century, has a bizantine style and houses catacombs.
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