The Chiesa del Gesù (Church of Jesus) in Rome is officially called the Chiesa del Santissimo Nome di Gesù all’Argentina (“Church of the Extremely Holy Name of Jesus at the Argentina”).
Chiesa del Gesù Rome
Address, opening hours and admission
Address: Piazza del Gesù, Rome (District: Pigna). Tel: +39 06697001. Public transport: Bus: H, 40, 64. Opening hours: 7.00 till 12.30 and 16.00 till 19.45. (Saint Ignatius’ room san be visited from monday till staurdan from 16.00 till 18.00 an don sundays and holidays from 10.00 till 12.00.) Closed: Never. Admission: Free.
History and description
The church was designed by two of the most famous architects at the time, Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola and Giacomo della Porta. The design is rather important since it came to be the model for every Jesuit church in the entire world.
The baroque church, after a construction that took 12 years to complete, was dedicated in 1584. The sumptuous interior decorations are a way of underlining the importance of the church. This is a counter-Reformation reaction to the more sober protestant designs of the period.
The church’s interior is more Renaissance than baroque. It is 34 meters wide and has a length of 76 meters. The nave is longer than usual and the dome is decorated with frescoes and marble statues.
The most typical characteristic of Jesuit churches is clearly in evidence: As the Council of Trent had decreed, churches should not have aisles, since these were seen as place where people could hang around without paying attention to what was going on around the altar.
The side chapels in the Church of the Gesù are connected by means of balustrades.
Chiesa del Gesù Rome Highlights
- The ceiling fresco “Triumph in the Name of Jesus” is made by Baciccio.
- The Chapel of St. Ignatius of Loyola containing the saint’s tomb was designed in 1696. Andrea Pozzo created a huge statue of Saint Ignatius, flanked by 4 pillars decorated with lapis lazuli.
- The Chapel of Saint Andreas contains frescoes by Agostino Ciampelli, depicting scenes from the life of this martyr. The ceiling painting is titled “The Glory of the Virgin”.
- The Chapel of the Passion has frescoes as well as paintings with the Passion of Jesus as a theme.
- The Chapel of the Madonna della Strada is decorated with “Scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary” by Giuseppe Valeriani and G.P. Pozzi.