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Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza, Rome

(4.6/5 based on 80+ reviews on the web)
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 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 the alley of buildings so that the façade can be seen throughout the alleyway; this suggests a decentralized planning on Borromini’s part. Baroque architecture differed from renaissance in moving from centralization to different orientations, shifting the buildings; such as churches, from the main stage to the background while maintaining similar importance in society. This is specially true for Sant'Ivo, hidden within the confines of its encapsulating alley. A courtyard, known as the courtyard of Giacomo della Porta leads to the entrance of Sant'Ivo. Arguably, the courtyard and surrounding edifice framing San'Ivo serve to create a separate dimension inside the alley where the towering dome above the façade of the church is the dominating focus point granting the building a form of captivating power via the focus the alley provides.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • My friend who is a builder loves this Borromini church. He says it's the best piece of architecture other than the Pantheon in Rome. Unfortunately for us it was closed for repair in March 2017. There ...  more »
  • On March 4, 2017 an anonymous block, as shown in the annex, it indicated the temporary closure without more details. Deep disappointment at the entrance, after noticing the original spiral bell tower stood from afar, standing out among the buildings, for elegance and originality. Even the dome, which can be seen scarcely seems extravagant. I still have to be patient to admire this masterpiece of Borromini, one of the treasures of Rome, and content myself with the guidance about the complex symbolism of the structure and the Interior, surprising novelty of design and ornamentation.
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  • In corso Rinascimento, the heart of Rome, there is this church that is one of the most majestic in Rome, at least from the outside, with its Baroque façade designed by Borromini. Located in the courtyard of the palazzo della Sapienza, seat of the University of Rome, founded by father Boniface VIII in 1303, transferred in 1935 to the new campus. It was built between 1642 and 1660 and, for its artistic values is considered one of the masterpieces of Borromini and Baroque in General. He took that name because the lawyers who had sponsored the construction took was also dedicated to their Patron Saint and consequently the whole name became of Ss. Leone, Ivo and Pantaleo. Magnificent arcaded courtyard, consists of several arches, majestic the great dome, one of the most beautiful of Rome with the beautiful spiral Spire that terminates in a flame above which, wrought iron, there is a sphere, the cross and the Holy Spirit Dove with olive branch in its beak. A beautiful church to see for sure.
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  • Generally regarded as Borromini's masterpiece - a masterpiece of space-shaping and "geometrical succinctness" At first look walls appear fluid in continuous motion. 1642-60
  • It's hard to open a shorter view time short of Borromini and geometric works remains to be seen.
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  • The Borromini turned a cramped and dark courtyard into a masterpiece of Baroque architecture and art.
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  • The architecture of Borromini. Advanced work of the canopy is not to be missed. Beautiful front yard. Good and sometimes not open so check in advance.
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  • Absolute, undisputed and indisputable masterpiece by Francesco Borromini.
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