Chiesa Sant’Agnese in Agone

Via Santa Maria dell’Anima 30A

Daily from 9:30am to 12:30pm and from 3:30pm to 7pm
Holidays from 9am to 1pm and from 4pm to 8pm
Closed on Monday

The Sant’Agnese in Agone church was built between 1652 and 1672 at the same site of the old church, where the martyrdom of Saint Agnes happened. Its name is not related to the “agony” of the martyr, but “in agone” was the ancient name of Piazza Navona meaning “the site of the competition” (in Greek). In Ancient Rome, the area of Piazza Navona was the site of a sports stadium.

The project was initiated by the Rainaldis (father Girolamo and son Carlo). In 1653 they were replaced by Francesco Borromini. In 1667 Donna Olimpia Maidalchini, the widow of Pope Innocent X’s brother, commissioned Bernini for some interior works. The story goes that there was a big competition between Bernini and Borromini. By coincidence or not, one of Bernini’s statues in the fountain in front of the church raises the hand almost as if wanting to protect itself from something! Many people interpret this gesture as if the statue was afraid that the church’s dome falling over it. Ego is something as old as the Romans.

Recommended by Alessandra Invitti

Image by future Galore from Shutterstock

Image by future Galore from Shutterstock

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