RAINALDI, Carlo
(b. 1611, Roma, d. 1691, Roma)

Twin churches

1662-78
Photo
Piazza del Popolo, Rome

In 1662 Pope Alexander VII ordered a pair of churches to be erected on the wedge-shaped sites between three streets, to provide a monumental backdrop to the Piazza del Popolo. The first architect was Carlo Rainaldi, and he planned two exactly identical round edifices. After the death of Pope Alexander in 1667, work was stopped for eight years. Rainaldi continued with his interrupted work until 1677, but it was left to Carlo Fontana to finish it off. The church was finally finished in 1678.

The picture shows the "twin" churches of Santa Maria di Montesanto (left) and Santa Maria dei Miracoli (right), seen from Piazza del Popolo. Between the two churches the Via del Corso starts. Although very similar, differences can been seen in this image in the two small belfries and in the two domes.




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