Chiesa di Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza, Rome

4.5
#104 of 526 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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4.6
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  • It's Borromini's masterpiece. To take into account: it only opens on Sundays of tomorrow and is integrated into a cloister, so it must be crossed from the street. But it is essential to appreciate the Baroque in all its splendor.
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  • This church has a very unusual corkscrew tower that is wonderful to view. Unfortunately you will struggle to get a good angle on it unless you enter the main courtyard which is only open on Sundays be...  more »
  • Beautiful Church of Borromini interesting on the outside as well as inside. It is inserted between two Renaissance facades with straight lines and has two levels, one concave, the other convex. The interior with beautiful white stones differs from other Roman churches by this apparent simplicity. The dome is sumptuous, the whole monument is striking.
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  • 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.
  • Hexagonal centralized planned church by Francesco Borrimini - nature derived biological symbolism from chemical reaction of honeyed- near Pantheon.
  • Borromini the architect was a great artist. This is one of his masterpieces. Easy to see the courtyard but interior is a bit tricky. Opening hours some whar mysterious. Worth the hassle.
  • Well worth the effort to visit during limited hours this church is open. The lantern cupola is exquisite. This is a small ish church with beautiful design inside and out, and a wonderful courtyard with covered walkways. A gem in the heart of Rome. Schedule 30 minutes
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