Chiesa di Sant’Ignazio di Loyola

sights / Religious

Chiesa di Sant’Ignazio di Loyola information

Rome , Italy
Piazza di Sant’Ignazio
Getting there
Bus: Via del Corso
Opening hours
7.30am-7pm Mon-Sat, 9am-7pm Sun
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Flanking a delightful rococo piazza, this important Jesuit church boasts a Carlo Maderno facade and two celebrated trompe l’oeil frescoes by Andrea Pozzo (1642–1709). One cleverly depicts a fake dome, whilst the other, on the nave ceiling, shows St Ignatius Loyola being welcomed into paradise by Christ and the Madonna.

For the best views of this dizzying work stand on the small yellow spot on the nave floor and look up. The ceiling, which is, in fact, flat, appears to curve. But walk a little further into the church and you'll see the carefully created perspective stops working and the deception becomes clear.

The church, which was built by the Jesuit architect Orazio Grassi in 1626, flanks Piazza di Sant’Ignazio , an exquisite square laid out in 1727 to resemble a stage set. Note the exits into ‘the wings’ at the northern end and how the undulating surfaces create the illusion of a larger space.