The Nostra Signora del Sacro Cuore Church in Rome is also known as the San Giacomo degli Spagnoli Church. This church has two facades, the main one being on the Corso del Risorgimento. The second facade is on the Piazza Navona.
Nostra Signora del Sacro Cuore Church Rome
Address, opening hours and admission
Address: Corso del Rinascimento, 27 – Rome. Tel: (+39) 06 6875214 or 06 6840311 or 06 6877937. Opening hours: Weekdays: 06.30 till 09.50 and 17.00 till 19.00; Holidays: 07.30 till 12.00 and 17.00 till 19.00. Admission: Free.
The San Giacomo degli Spagnoli Church was built by Bernardo Rossellino, on the site of a former oratorium of the Sant’Andrea dei Benedettini Church. As an inscription on the church portal indicates, the church was constructed for the Jubilee in the year 1450.
The Bishop of Seville gave his protection to the church, which became the centre of the Spanish community in Rome.
The original entrance was in the Via della Sapienza, a street which does not exist anymore. Like more streets in the area, in 1936 it had to make place for the new Corso del Rinascimento.
The main facade is now in the Corso, but there is a second facade on the 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 its importance. At one point it was even close to collapsing.
After the French missionaries of the Sacred Heart commissioned Luca Carimini to reconstruct the church, it was newly consecrated. This was when it got its present name, “Our Lady of the Sacred Heart”.
The 1463 portal and thus the main entrance were moved to the Piazza Navona. At the same time Pietro Torrigiani‘s Renaissance portal travelled the other way.
When the Corso di Rinasscimento was laid, the apse and the 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 away from Piazza Navona.
Piazza Navona Facade
The Piazza Navona facade is divided into three parts by pilasters. Each part has a rose window and arched window, but the central part is surmounted by a tympanum with a cross.
The most striking part of this facade is the 15th century portal. The coat of arms lifted by the two angels on the pediment is that of Castile and Leon. The inscription opus Mini under the angel on the left refers either to Mino da Fiesole or to Mino del Reame. Opus Pauli under the right one refers to Paolo Romano.
Romano also made the statue of Saint 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. The majority ended up in museums in Barcelona and Madrid, however.
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 the 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.