This church is the flagship church of the Jesuits, the richest Catholic order, founded by Basque soldier Ignatius Loyola in the 1530s.
This church is the flagship church of the Jesuits, the richest Catholic order, founded by Basque soldier Ignatius Loyola in the 1530s. Loyola’s final resting place, the Gesù (built 1568-84) was designed to involve the congregation as closely as possible in the proceedings, with a nave unobstructed by aisles, offering a clear view of the main altar. Giacomo della Porta added a façade that would be repeated ad nauseam on Jesuit churches across Italy (and the world) for decades afterwards. A large, bright fresco, Triumph in the Name of Jesus, by Il Baciccia (1676-79) – one of Rome’s great Baroque masterpieces – decorates the gilded ceiling of the nave, which seems to dissolve on either side as stucco figures (by Antonio Raggi) and other painted images are sucked up into the dazzling light of the heavens. Outside the church, at piazza del Gesù 45, you can visit the rooms of St Ignatius, which contain a wonderful painted corridor featuring trompe l’oeil special effects by Pozzo, and mementoes of the saint, including his death mask.
|Venue name:||Chiesa del Gesù|
Via degli Astalli, 16
00186 Roma RM
|Opening hours:||Church 7.30am-12.30pm, 4-7.45pm daily. Loyola’s rooms 4-6pm Mon-Sat; 10am-noon Sun.|