Interiors of S.Agnese in Agone, Roma

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Sant’Agnese in Agone is a church dedicated to St Agnes, built at the site of her martyrdom.
An oratory was built here, probably in the 8th century when it was mentioned in the Itinerary of Einsiedeln, and dedicated to St Agnes. It stood on the spot where she was martyred, over a brothel in the arcades of the Circus of Domitian, also known as the Circus Agonalis. According to an inscription, it was consecrated as a church by Pope Callixtus II on 28 January 1123. This was probably a reconsecration after restoration of rebuilding of the church.

The Catalogue of Turin, c. 1320, states that the church had one priest.

In July 1517, Pope Leo X made it a cardinalitial titular church, with Sant’Andrea della Valle as the first titular priest. The title was suppressed by Pope Innocent XI in 1654, and moved to Sant’Agnese fuori le Mura. In 1998, it was established as a titular deaconry by Pope John Paul II, with Lorenzo Antonetti as titular deacon.

Pope Innocent X ordered it enlarged in 1652. The first project was designed by Girolamo and Carlo Rainaldi, but the pope was not happy with it, and gave the task to Borromini in 1653. Innocent X died in 1655, and work proceeded slowly under his nephew Camillo. Borromini wanted to move on, and Carlo Rainaldi took over. Camillo also died before the church was finished, and his wife decided to call in Bernini. He altered Borromini’s design, leaving the the façade mainly as planned but adding a high pediment surmounted by an attic. The rebuilding was completed in 1672, and the church was consecrated on 17 January of that year.

1125 views 27 October 2010

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