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Francesco Borromini’s Church of Sant Ivo alla Sapienza in Rome

Cupola di Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza

Cupola di Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza is located on Corso del Rinascimento at the end of the Palazzo della Sapienza courtyard.  It is the only church in Rome with a corkscrew, twisted spiral spire.  The corkscrew spiral was the  inspiration for the spire of Vor Frelsers Kirke in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza by Francesco Borromini

Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza by Francesco Borromini (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This Baroque church was built between 1642 and 1660 in the ancient courtyard of the Università la Sapienza (University of Knowledge), by Francesco Borromini.

IMG 0397 - Sant'Ivo alla sapienza

Image via Wikipedia

English: Chapel Sant’Ivo, designed by Borromin...

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This was originally the chapel church of the University of Rome (La Sapienza).  Sapienza means “Knowledge” and it was the first university founded in Rome.

Click here to watch a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0xzXhJ-_-E.

The façade is decorated with columns that are incorporated into the walls. There are semi-circular arched windows which rise toward the spiral capital that is supporting the cupola.

On the main altar, there is a painting depicting the following Saints: Ives, Leo, Pantaleone, Luke, Catherine of Alexandria, in “The Glory of the Saints” (1661) by Pietro da Cortona. This university in Rome is dedicated to its namesake, Saint Ives (patron saint of the jurists). He is considered ” The Advocate of the Poor.”

English: Dome of the Chapel Sant’Ivo, designed...

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Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza was consecrated in 1660 and was built by the architect Francesco Borromini. Since one of the distinctive characteristics of the church is the beautiful corkscrew spire on the dome; for 15 years after  placing the spire on the roof,  Borromini was responsible for it  in case it collapsed. Inside the church, you can also admire the portrait of Saint Ives on the altar.

Francesco Borromini

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SantIvo Bees

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The church of Saint Ives was built under the direction of Cardinal Barberini. You can observe the Barberini Bees on the facade of the church.

SantIvo Dome

SantIvo Dome (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The church began as a chapel of the palace of the University of Rome. The University is called La Sapienza, and the church is devoted to Saint Yves.

Borromini SantIvo Cut

Borromini SantIvo Cut (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Statue de saint Yves.

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Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Italy Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

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