The Jesuit order founded by Ignatius of Loyola in 1540 soon gained more and more members in Rome and all over Europe. To honour the memory of Ignatius, who died in 1556 and was canonized in 1622, the order built Sant’Ignazio, the second Jesuit church in Rome after Il Gesù, between 1626 and 1650 with financial aid from Cardinal Ludovico Ludovisi. The architect was a Jesuit, Orazio Grassi.
The piazza with the two-storey church façade is like a stage set for a performance of Baroque theatre of the senses, an effect which is heightened inside the building. Its spacious, broad area for services, interconnected side chapels and magnificent decoration were designed to open the eyes and heart for the message of the church and win believers back to the church: this was the age of the Counter- Reformation.
Even though the dome above the piers of the crossing was not finished, the harmony of the space is not disturbed. In place of the dome, the Jesuit Andrea Pozzo painted trompe l’oeuil architecture on the ceiling celebrating the Triumph of St Ignatius, his Passing into Paradise, and The Four Evangelized Continents (as then known).
Tickets & Tours:
Colosseum to Sant’Ignazio:
The church set in the Piazza di Sant’lgnazio, 1,7 km from (21 min walk) from Colosseum. Bus Lines: 56, 60, 62, 71, 81, 85, 87, 88, 90, 94, 95.