• Sant' Ivo alla Sapienza
  • Sant' Ivo alla Sapienza

Sant' Ivo alla Sapienza

Rome, Italy

Saint Yves at La Sapienza (Italian: Chiesa di Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza) is a Roman Catholic church in Rome. Built in 1642‐1660 by the architect Francesco Borromini, the church is a masterpiece of Roman Baroque architecture. The courtyard entrance can be accessed from Corso del Rinascimento; it nestles in the three blocks between the south edge of Piazza Navona and the Pantheon.

The church rises at the end of the alley of buildings so that the façade can be seen throughout the alleyway; this suggests a decentralized planning on Borromini’s part. Baroque architecture differed from renaissance in moving from centralization to different orientations, shifting the buildings; such as churches, from the main stage to the background while maintaining similar importance in society. This is specially true for Sant'Ivo, hidden within the confines of its encapsulating alley. A courtyard, known as the courtyard of Giacomo della Porta leads to the entrance of Sant'Ivo. Arguably, the courtyard and surrounding edifice framing San'Ivo serve to create a separate dimension inside the alley where the towering dome above the façade of the church is the dominating focus point granting the building a form of captivating power via the focus the alley provides.
The façade of San Ivo alla Sapienza is concave, molding the church into the alleyway as if completing it rather than disrupting it. The façade itself looks like a continuation of the alley arches except with the openings filled in with small windows, a door, and a larger glass window above the door. Above the façade is a large parapet structure which adds towards the effect of the almighty dome by hindering it just a little more so that only the higher stages of the church is seen past the façade. A key exterior aspect is the top of the church, the lantern of Sant'Ivo is topped with a swirling spiral shape like whipped cream, surmounted with a Cross.


Sant' Ivo alla Sapienza, Corso del Rinascimento, 40, 00186 Rome, Italy, Google Maps

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