Church of the Gesu

The Church of the Gesu is the mother temple of the Jesuits (Society of Jesus) located in the city of Rome, in IX Circus Flamingus district.  It is also considered as the first building with features in Baroque style in the world.

The church was founded by Ignatius of Loyola in 1551. The temple was built by Giacomo della Porta, the creator of the façade of the church, and Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola. The construction began in 1568 and it was finished in 1584.

The interior of the temple has elements from Gothic and Renaissance styles. First of all, inside the temple of Il Gesu, there are reduced transepts, which are considerably shorter than the ones in Gothic churches and they are used as a chapels. Inside the temple architects designed a simple presbytery and the attention is focused on the high altar. It is one nave without adjacent naves but with a row of chapels  with decorative balustrades with gates. In the Il Gesù church there are different barrel vaults, with arches separating the presbytery and the main nave. Giacomo della Porta was involved in the construction of the cross-vault, dome, and the apse. The design of this church has set a pattern for Jesuit churches that lasted into the twentieth century around the world.

Previously, temples were built of a cross-shaped plan, whereas the Church of the Gesu is much more compact plan-wise, than the churches from preceding epochs. In the façade there are double pilasters and its decoration and shapes  were designed to create sharp contrasts of chiaroscuro, what was one of the major rules in the Baroque style. Inside, apart from chapels there is a monumental fresco from Giovanni Battista Gaulli, Triumph of the Name of Jesus.

The changes used in the Church of the Gesu disturbed artists who loved harmony and moderation. Nonetheless, thanks to the architectural measures, the building seems elegant and sophisticated, not overcrowded with splendour. For all of these reasons the building is a foreboding of the Baroque in all artistic areas.

Source of description: planerGO
Neighbourhood IX Circus Flaminius (14 regioni di Roma augustea)
Price definition of price gratis
Geographical coordinates 41.8962757, 12.4800439
Address 00186 Rome, Piazza del Gesù
Construction dates 1568 - 1584
Opening date 1584
Length 75.00
Width 35.00
More information official website

How to arrive