JUBILEE CULTURAL ROUTES

Piazza Navona

You are along the route: THE ETERNAL CHALLENGE. BERNINI VERSUS BORROMINI

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Piazza Navona

fontanadelmoro

Piazza Navona
Always visible.

The Fontana del Moro is named after the central sculpture, a giant with exotic features restraining a dolphin by its tail, created by Bernini in 1655 and built by Giovanni Antonio Mari. It replaced a previous structure which was not to the liking of Pope Innocent X, who was a Pamphili and whose family palace was on the same side of the square. The marble basin, designed by Giacomo Della Porta and built in 1575 with that for the symmetrical Fountain of Neptune, was inserted into a wide base designed by Bernini. The side sculptures were done in 1870 by the sculptor Luigi Amici, modelled on the same sixteenth century sculptures that had been removed. They depict four tritons blowing into a buccina, a wind instrument, from which water gushes out, alternated by four mascarons placed between two dolphins.

Picture by permission from Roma Capitale-Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali
Further reproduction prohibited

fontanadeiquattrofiumi

Piazza Navona
www.sovraintendenzaroma.it
Always visible.

The fountain, inaugurated in 1651, was created by Gian Lorenzo Bernini on commission by Pope Innocent X. At the centre of a large elliptical base, the fountain is imagined to be a long rocky shoreline, with a cave with four openings supporting the obelisk that was brought transported from the Circo di Massenzio on the Appia on the orders of the Pope. The corners of the shoreline are decorated by monumental statutes of the four rivers representing the continents that were known at the time, which are identifiable by the vegetation and animals sculpted next to them: the Danube represents Europe, with a horse; the Ganges represents Asia, with an oar and a dragon; the Nile represents Africa, with a lion and a palm tree; the River Plate represents America, with an armadillo. The bronze dove with an olive branch on top of the obelisk represents the coat of arms of the Papal family. The marvellous ensemble celebrates the triumph of the Church worldwide.

Picture by permission from Roma Capitale-Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali
Further reproduction prohibited

santagneseinagone

Piazza Navona
www.santagneseinagone.org
Every day except Monday. Tuesday-Saturday 9:30-12:30 and 15:30-19:00. Sunday and bank holidays: 9:00-13:00 and 16:00-20:00. Free entry.

In 1652 Pope Innocent X Pamphilj commissioned Girolamo Rainaldi to rebuild the ancient church of St. Agnes, near the family palace in Piazza Navona. In 1653, however, the pope exonerated the architect and replaced him with Borromini who substantially modified the previous design. Eliminating the vestibule, he obtained the space for the original concave façade, whose curve was to contrast with that of the dome framed by two bell towers and made even more vertical by the tall drum. With the election of Alexander VII, however, Borromini was removed from the site and replaced by Carlo Rainaldo and then, in 1667, by Bernini, commissioned by the powerful Olimpia Aldobrandini to complete the interior finishes.

Picture by permission from Roma Capitale-Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali
Further reproduction prohibited

How to get the step: Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona, 00186 Roma, Italy

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