• April 26, 2019

St. Ignatius of Loyola

St. Ignatius of Loyola

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They say there are more than 900 churches in Rome. When walking down the city centre it feels like every third or fourth building was a church. Romans say that every time there is a church behind you, you can see another one:)! Most of them are beautifully and richly decorated inside and also also the front facades give you breathtaking scenes. Of course, when visiting the city, you won’t be able to visit all of them. Despite this, there are some which should be definitely on your list. One f them finds its place not far from Pantheon. Its name is The Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola at Campus Martius.


frescoes in st ignatius of loyola church in Rome with tourists

Tourists enjoying the beauties of decorations inside the church of St. Ignatius of Loyola In Rome

They built The Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola in 1626 on an ancient church which had become too small for all of the students from the Roman college nearby. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, was canonized on March 12, 1622. They decided to dedicate him this monumental church. A great patron of the work was Bishop Ludovico Ludovisi, nephew of Pope Gregory XV. The building has been attributed several times to various architects, who worked in Rome in the first half of the 17th century: Domenichino, Girolamo Rainaldi, Alessandro Algardi.


They divided the facade of the church into two parts. The lower one includes three large gates that allow access to the building. Two large columns with Corinthian capitals surround the central and biggest door.  In the upper part, aligned with the central door, there is a large window that allows rays of light to enter the church and to illuminate the main nave. The Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola completes the landscape of the symmetrical square where it takes its place.


The size of the church will amaze you once you enter it for the first time. The Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola is 81.5 m long and 43 m wide. The ground plan of the church has the shape of a cross. There are an apsidal presbytery and six side chapels, three on the left and three on the right. The church is famous for the paintings by Andrea Pozzo. Once you enter it, try to find a golden disk in the floor of the main nave. From this place, you can admire the simulation of the dissected ceiling of the church.

A Fake Dome

Have you noticed something strange on the ceiling? You are right:)! There is no dome in the church. There is only painting on a flat ceiling. You have to go a little further towards the altar and get to another sign on the floor. It marks the point for the ideal observation of this masterpiece. It gives you the feeling like there was a normal dome. When you get closer to it, you will see that the perspective of the painting is changing. Once you stand right under it you will see it betterè and we are sure you will be quite surprised how perfectly they did this artwork! They didn’t build the dome probably due to the economic situation.


Campus Martius is a beautiful district also for romantic walks in the evenings. Of course, there is not only the Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola. You can see here many other beautiful churches and historical palaces in this area. When walking down the streets you can listen to some of the street musicians here or buy some souvenirs for your family and friends. You can also visit one of the many Italian restaurants here and have delicious pasta or pizza. Ask our guides on the tour for the best ice cream in this zone! Be sure, they will recommend you some good spots here:)!