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The Church of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane

Chiesa di San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane
Chiesa di S. Carlo alle quattro fontane ©Adam Eastland _ AGF

 Among the baroque churches, the Church of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane is often unjustely forgotten because many of them are famous for their size and for their scenic location.

The Spanish Trinitarian Fathers commissioned at Francesco Borromini to built the church and the convent. He worked there in a first period from 1638 to 1642 and resumed his project until his death in 1667 leaving the prospect under construction.

The scenographic façade is the last work of the architect and it presents a serpentine course also in the belltower. At the centre of the façade is the statue of Saint Charles Borromeo by Antonio Raggi. Because of its reduced dimension, Romans called it San Carlino, it is said its area is as  big as one of the four pillars sustaining Saint Peter’s dome.

The oval shaped interior is one of the first Borromini’s achievements and it is divided by a giant order of columns.The trabeation runs for  the entire perimeter, flexing at the apse and at  the lateral curved sectors, giving a great continuity to the small area. It has an elliptical coffered dome elegantly decorated with esagonal,octagonal and cross-shaped stucco  work that becomes smaller to the top, thus profusing an optical illusion of a greater depth.

Next to the church is the closter on two levels, with an octagonal plan at coveted corners, masterpiece of harmony and proportion.

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POINT (12.4905495 41.9017698)

For the timetable of the masses and visiting conditions, please consult the contacts.

06 4883261
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Chiesa di San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane, Via del Quirinale, 23
Via del Quirinale, 23
41° 54' 6.372" N, 12° 29' 25.98" E


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Chiesa di S. Carlo alle quattro fontane ©Adam Eastland _ AGF

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