Chiesa di Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza, Rome

4.5
#101 of 525 in Historic Sites in Rome
Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza is a Roman Catholic church in Rome. Built in 1642-1660 by the architect Francesco Borromini, the church is a masterpiece of Roman Baroque architecture.The church is at the rear of a courtyard at 40, Corso del Rinascimento; the complex is now used by the Archives of the City of Rome.HistoryIn the 14th century, there was a chapel here for the palace of the University of Rome. The University is called La Sapienza, and the church was dedicated to Saint Ivo (or Yves, patron saint of jurists). When a design was commissioned from Borromini in the 17th century, he adapted to the already existing palazzo. He choose a plan resembling a star of David - which would have been recognized at the time as a Star of Solomon, symbolizing wisdom - and merged a curved facade of the church with the courtyard of the palace. The corkscrew lantern of the dome was novel. The complex rhythms of the interior have a dazzling geometry to them.The main artwork of the interior is the altarpiece by Pietro da Cortona, portraying St. Yves.ExteriorThe church rises at the end of a courtyard, known as the courtyard of Giacomo della Porta. The façade is concave, molding the church into the courtyard as if completing it rather than disrupting it. The façade itself looks like a continuation of the courtyard arches except with the openings filled in with small windows, a door, and a larger glass window above the door. Above the façade is a large parapet structure so that only the higher stages of the church is seen past the façade. A key exterior aspect is the top of the church: the lantern of Sant'Ivo is topped with a spiral shape, surmounted by a Cross.
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Chiesa di Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza Reviews

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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
144 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • This Baroque marvel is very hard to spot from the outside. Hidden in the porticoed courtyard of Palazzo della Sapienza, this extraordinary church is a masterpiece of baroque architecture. However...  more »
  • Unfortunately, the interior of the church was not open during the hours when we stopped by, but the courtyard was. In any event, a visit to the courtyard to enjoy the facade and one-of-a-kind lantern....  more »
Google
  • This baroque church is designed by Francesco Borromini, rival of Bernini. Unfortunately we couldn't enter as it was closed.
  • Open only on Sunday between 9 and 12 am. Interesting architecture by Borromini. The church is physical part of the university.

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