Route: COMMITMENT AND HOLINESS. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA AND FILIPPO NERI
Piazza della Chiesa Nuova
You are along the route: THE ETERNAL CHALLENGE. BERNINI VERSUS BORROMINI
Piazza della Chiesa Nuova and via dei Filippini
Convent and oratory buildings always visible on the outside. Clock tower always visible. Biblioteca Vallicelliana: Salone Borromini visible upon direct request to the keeper every day except Saturday 10:00-13:00; Group visits by reservation only.
The growth of the Congregation of the Oratory, founded by San Filippo Neri, led to the need for additional facilities to the Church of Santa Maria in Vallicella. Between 1637 and 1640 Francesco Borromini was chosen as the architect of the new complex. The façade of the Oratory, to the left of the church, is one of the masterpieces of the artist with a succession of concave and convex planes that Borromini himself declared were inspired by a man with open arms, as if to embrace the faithful. The organisation of the interior spaces is seen in what today is the Vallicelliana Library, in the Salone Borromini, marked by two rows of pillars and features two loggias on the shorter sides. By contrast, the other element of the complex, the Convent in via dei Filippini, has a simple and austere façade, but finds a surprising momentum in the elevation of the Clock Tower with its lively curved profiles.
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