The Nostra Signora del Sacro Cuore Church in Rome is also known as San Giacomo degli Spagnoli. This church has two facades, the main one being on the Corso del Rinascimento. The second facade is located on Piazza Navona.
San Giacomo degli Spagnoli Kerk Rome
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Address: Corso del Rinascimento, 27 – Rome. Tel: (+39) 06 6875214 or 06 6840311 or 06 6877937. Opening hours: Weekdays: 06:30 to 09:50 and 17:00 to 19:00; Holidays: 07:30 to 12:00 and 17:00 to 19:00. Admission: free of charge.
The San Giacomo degli Spagnoli Church was built by Bernardo Rossellino, on the site where an oratory of the Sant’Andrea dei Benedettini Church used to be. As an inscription on the portal indicates, the church was built for the jubilee year of 1450.
The bishop of Seville gave his patronage to the church, which became the center of the Spanish community in Rome.
The original entrance was in the Via della Sapienza, a street that no longer exists. Like more streets in the neighborhood, this street had to make way for the new Corso del Rinascimento in 1936.
The main facade is now on the Corso, but there is a second facade on Piazza Navona. Pope Alexander VI was responsible for the construction of this facade in the 16th century.
A restoration, under Antonio Sangallo the Younger, took place in 1514.
Later, when the Santa Maria del Monserrato Church was built, the church lost importance. At one point it was even in danger of collapsing.
After the French missionaries of the Sacred Heart commissioned Luca Carimini to reconstruct the church, it was re-consecrated. Then it was given its current name, “Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.”
The 1463 portal and thus the main entrance were moved to Piazza Navona. At the same time, Pietro Torrigiani‘s Renaissance portal traveled in the other direction.
When the Corso di Rinascimento was laid, the apse and transept of the church were damaged. Arnaldo Foschi created a new facade, with columns and a loggia on the upper part, and the main entrance was moved to the Corso.
Pilasters divide the Piazza Navona facade into three sections. Each part has a rose window and an arched window, but the central part is crowned by a tympanum with a cross.
The most striking part of this facade is the fifteenth-century portal. The coat of arms raised by the two angels on the pediment is that of Castile and Leon. The inscription Opus Mini under the angel on the left refers to Mino da Fiesole. Opus Pauli under the one on the right refers to Paolo Romano.
Romano also made the statue of St. James above the tympanum.
The interior consists of three naves with side chapels. Several works of art were moved to the Santa Maria di Monserrato Church. Even more ended up in museums in Barcelona and Madrid.
The San Giacomo Chapel was designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger. The frescoes in this chapel are the work of Pellegrino Aretusi. The original of Jacopo Sansovino‘s “San Giacomo” statue above the altar is in the Santa Maria in Monserrato church.
Baldassarre Croce painted the vault frescoes. The marble choir is probably the work of Pietro Torrigiani.