Rome, Italy

St. Agnese in Agone, Rome, Italy

The Church of Santa Agnese in Agone overlooks the Piazza Navona, the nearest thing Rome has to a "main square". The Church was built in the 17th Century mostly to the plans of Rainaldi, but it was finished off by Borromini who added the concave front which is perhaps the most distinctive feature.

It is said that Bernini, whose famous Fountain of the Four Rivers stands immediately outside the Church was a rival to Borromini and that the figure representing the River Plate is holding up his arm to shield his face because he thinks that the Church is going to fall over onto him! Sadly, this can't be true because the Fountain was finished before the Church.

Still if there was a rivalry it is surely Bernini who has won as most people who visit the Piazza Navona gravitate towards Bernini's fountains far more than Borromini's church, a shame as it is quite an unusual church and stands out amongst Rome's other Baroque churches because of its original design.

In the picture above the Piazza is alive with stalls and rides because of the Christmas Fayre held there in the Festive Season.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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