Chiesa di Sant'Agnese in Agone

Chiesa di Sant'Agnese in Agone, Rome

Chiesa di Sant'Agnese in Agone

Chiesa di Sant'Agnese in Agone
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644 reviews
Very good

United Kingdom4,216 contributions
Easy to Visit in the Middle of Piazza Navona
Aug 2019
You will find yourself in Piazza Navona at some stage so it is very easy to visit this 17th century Baroque church which is in the centre, facing the largest fountain.
Inside, it is a lavish and richly decorated, with no shortage pf pink and green marble or gold. The main features to look out for are the sculptures, the frescoed dome, the golden altar and the shrine to St Agnes.
The church is dedicated to St Agnes who was only a child when she was martyred on this very spot in the year 304.
Agnes was only 12 or 13 years old when she was tortured and died. It was a terrible time for Christians and many were killed in vicious purges, by the fanatically anti-Christian emperor, Diocletian.
Scenes from St Agnes’ story can be seen in sculpture reliefs and a fresco inside the church. A pretty young girl from a wealthy family, she caught the eye of many would-be suitors. She attracted a steady flow of unwanted gifts and offers of marriage. Devoted to Jesus, she rejected them all. Eventually some angry and resentful would-be husbands had her arrested as a Christian. This sealed Agnes’ fate and she was stripped naked and sent to a brothel. According to the story, her hair miraculously grew to cover her. Then when they tried to burn her at a stake, the fire wouldn't burn her. Finally, she was decapitated. Her skull is now preserved in a side chapel towards the very back on left hand side, behind the main altar. It’s the one with the white marble statue of Agnes, holding a lamb.
Another chapel on the right hand side shows a large white marble sculpture of Agnes at the stake, with the fire flickering around her but no higher than her knees.
The crypt (on the right hand side) contains the remains of the ancient Roman stadium and is the site of the brothel. At the altar of the crypt, there is a relief sculpture which shows Agnes being led from the brothel by Roman soldiers.
NOTE: Check your timing before visiting the church because it is closed for a big chunk of time in the middle of the day between 12:30 – 3:30. It’s also closed on Mondays.
Written 30 July 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Sudbury, MA24,914 contributions
Magnificent 17th century Baroque
Dec 2019 • Solo
One of my favorites Baroque churches in Rome never disappoints. The Chiesa di Sant’Agnese’s magnificent facade with its imposing dome and two twin bell towers on both sides matches the beauty of its stunning interior full of the finest examples of Baroque architecture: the elaborate bas-relief of the high altar by Domenico Guidi with its green marble columns, graceful statues of Saint Cecilia and Saint Agnes in its chapels, and the most marvelous paintings of the cupola.

The church was flooded with pre-Christmas crowds, but somehow the feeling of serenity and grace did not go away...

Photos are not allowed inside the church, but inexpensive brochures with photos and historical information are available in the the tiny gift shop right at the entrance.

Enjoy the Chiesa at night and during the day: different look, same beauty.
Written 11 June 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia144 contributions
A Surprise
Dec 2019
We visited this church by chance when we were at Piazza Navona. What a beautiful church ! Not to be missed if you visit Piazza Navona.
Written 7 April 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Bexley, UK1,106 contributions
Dec 2019
This stunningly beautiful 17th-century Baroque church sits facing Piazza Navona and was once the site where the Early Christian Saint Agnes was martyred in the ancient Stadium of Domitian. With its grand & strikingly beautiful facade to the beautiful frescos inside, this is a must when visiting the Rome. Then pick one of the many restaurants that surrounds it to watch the world pass you by!
Written 11 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Monaco30,981 contributions
A jewel of Baroque architecture
Jan 2020 • Friends
We have been around this church forever, for years and years, because we like and admire it.
This time we decided to visit the church for the third time, after reading some literature abou it. And thar helped us to appreciate its beauty even more.
In the heart of Rome, on the Piazza Navona, the Church of Sant’Agnese in Agone is a jewel of Baroque architecture. Rainaldi, Borromini, and Bernini each had a hand in designing the church we see today.
The church went through many reconstructions over time since the 8th century. It owes its modern looks to Pope Innocent X who commissioned its construction in 1652.
In fact the church’s construction began in 1652 under the architects Girolamo and Carlo Reinaldi, though after many quarrels the project was commissioned to Francesco Borromini by Pope Innocent X of the powerful Pamphilj family, whose palace is adjacent to the church : they built the structure on the site of an earlier medieval church to display their prestige.
It was completed by Borromini, who remarkably modified it, adding curves and modifications to the plans while keeping the original footprint of the design.
The work went slowly and, frustrated by battles for his radical visions of undulating stone, Borromini resigned in 1657.
Rainaldi was brought back onto the project, then joined by Bernini, who tamed some of the exuberance of Borromini's design.
The church was finally finished and frescoes and decorations added to the interior to create the glorious sight that we see today
The name of the church “in Agone” comes from the Greek and it meant “in the site of the competitions”, and it is referred to the old use of the Piazza Navona as an ancient stadium. The name then changed from Agone to Navona.
It was built on the place where, according to tradition, the martyr Agnes
was exposed naked to the public ridicule by her executioners, but her hair miraculously grew to cover her body and preserve her modesty, before being killed.
Her skull is preserved in a separate chapel Inside the church, containing a marble relief by Alessandro Algardi.
With its theatrical facade and rich, domed interior, the fanciful church is typical of Francesco Borromini’s baroque style.
This brilliant architect in fact conveived the concave façade with a single order of pilasters, the columns and the dome.
The twin bell-towers were carried out by Antonio del Grande and Giovanni Maria Baratta, according to a plan by Borromini.
The inside, by Rainaldi, saves the Greek cross plan and hosts splendid golden and marbles works by Borromini.
Pink and white marble dominate the walls, keeping everything light. No dark Carvaggio-esque paintings here.
White marble wall engravings are the only artwork, helping to reflect the light. Only when you look up and up do you find any paintings, and these still maintain the brightness of the lower half of the church, primarily utilizing soft blues and pinks.
The church interior is decorated with statues by Baroque artists well known in those days
The dome frescoes of the Assumption are by Ciro Ferri (1670) and the pendentives, by Il Baciccio, date from between 1662 and 1672.
The dome, surmounted by eight columns, was frescoed by Ciro Ferri helped by ‘Baciccia’.
It's an absolutely beautiful and breathtaking church.
A must see for anyone who is visiting this area.
Written 8 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

9,771 contributions
If you are in piazza Navona don’t miss it
May 2019
Stunning baroque church off the Piazza Navona. The church is the work of the architects Girolamo Rainaldi, his son Carlo Rainaldi and Francesco Borromini. The construction of the church began in 1652. On the initiative of Pope Innocent X, whose family palace, Palazzo Pamphili, is adjacent to this church. Beautiful baroque church, with the skull of St Agnes in it. The church giving this place a majestic glow like a pearl. Absolutely well worth a visit.
Written 16 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Knoxville, TN4,211 contributions
Absolute Splendor
Feb 2020 • Couples
One of my favorites in Rome. Free entry and absolutely spectacular. The details inside this church boggle the mind. Don’t miss this !!!
Written 15 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Palm Beach, FL224 contributions
Overlooked in Piazza Novona
Jan 2020
One has to believe that most visitors go to Piazza Novona to see Bernini’s magnificent fountain and walk by this wonderful church. Built in the 1600s this baroque edifice is well worth the visit.
Written 7 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Wellington, New Zealand3,303 contributions
Spare a thought for poor young St Agnes
Oct 2019
I suspect many people, like us, have walked by this church on numerous occasions on many visits to Rome simply enjoying the Piazza and Bernini's fabulous Fountain of Four Rivers which is directly in front. But today seeing other people entering we finally did a little bit of research and went in for a look. This is a fine late 17th century Baroque church, handsome outside and stunning in with a superb dome and many fine artworks. But for me the most interest was in the story of the lady herself - Saint Agnes, the patron saint of girls and chastity. As an early virgin martyr she's a big deal for the catholic church, even mentioned by name in the canon of the mass. Legend has it she was martyred on the spot the church was built on around 304 AD when she was around twelve years old.There's an amazing number of legends attached to her death; as she was dragged naked through the streets her hair rapidly grew to cover her body and protect her modesty, those men who tried to rape her were struck blind, the wood under her stake at her execution wouldn't catch fire, etc. Finally the Roman officer in charge got sick of all these miracles and drew his sword and cut her head off. Well if you want to be a martyr, someone's eventually going to oblige.... By the by, the Agone in the church's title doesn't refer to her agony, but to the name of the Piazza (Navone and Agone are both derived from a roman term related to the competitions that took place in the stadium that originally stood here). I guess the point I'm making with this review is that while there's absolutely nothing wrong with admiring these kinds of attractions for the beauty of their architecture and art, that it's possible to get considerably more out of your visit with a bit of reading beforehand. So spare a thought for poor young Saint Agnes while you're admiring the beauty of this fine church.
Written 20 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Oliver S
New York City, NY10,929 contributions
Baroque Splendor
Oct 2019
Dedicated to a Christian martyr, St. Agnese, killed during Diocletian's Christian persecution times, this church was enlarged, beautified and decorated by Bernini, thanks to the wealth of the Pamphilj family, the same family that produced Giovanni Batista Pamphilj, aka Pope Innocent X, buried in this church. Velasquez has a fabulous portrait of that Pope, you can see it in the Palazzo Pamphilj-Doria. In the same place you can here the story of the family, the pope and the papessa (I'm not giving this one away) told with British accent by the last heir of the family.
The church features splendid Baroque architecture, the sacristy by Boromini, four chapels and an antique organ, you should be so lucky to hear it...
Written 10 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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