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Le Quattro Fontane (Book 2) (Day 2) (Map A3) (View B7) (Rione Trevi) (Rione Monti)

In this page:
The plate by Giuseppe Vasi
Today's view
The Four Fountains
The Church and the Monastery
Palazzo Albani
SS. Anna e Gioacchino
Palazzo Galloppi

The Plate (No. 35 - ii)

The four fountains

The plate shows the church of San Carlo and the four fountains built by Sixtus V at the crossing between two main streets: Strada Felice (after the name of Sixtus V, Felice Peretti) from TrinitÓ dei Monti to S. Maria Maggiore and Strada Pia from Porta Pia to the Quirinal or Monte Cavallo as it was then called. The view is taken from the green dot in the small 1748 map here below. In the description below the plate Vasi made reference to: 1) Le Quattro Fontane; 2) S. Carlo; 3) Palazzo Albani; 4) S. Maria Maggiore (Apsidal Fašade). The small map shows also 5) Palazzo Galloppi; 6) SS. Anna e Gioacchino. The dotted line in the small map delineates the border between Rione Trevi (left) and Rione Monti (right).

Small ViewSmall View


Today

The church today

Apart from the cars everything else is unchanged. Unfortunately the traffic is always a nuisance and makes it difficult to properly examine Borromini's complex fašade of S. Carlo or as the Romans call it San Carlino (the small Carlo) because the church is said not to exceed the area of a pillar of St Peter's. The upper part was built after the death of Borromini.

The Four Fountains

The four fountains

The four fountains represent the rivers Arno (top left) and Tiber (lower right) and the goddesses Juno (top right) and Diana (lower left).

The Church and the Monastery

Ceiling

Confronted with a very tight budget, Borromini made use of his ingenuity and of his mastering of stucco (see also his chapel in Palazzo di Propaganda Fide). The cost was in part born by Cardinal Francesco Barberini, nephew of Pope Urbanus VIII, to whom a little chapel is dedicated. In addition to the formal coat of arms the Barberini are remembered by a stucco relief showing the Sun of the Barberini.

Stuccoes

The small monastery adjoining the church has a tiny cloister where Borromini proved again his talent. The right/reverse column motif of the balustrade proves it.

Cloister


Palazzo Albani

Palazzo Albani

Palazzo Albani is today known as Palazzo del Drago (dragon) because when the fortunes of Cardinal Albani declined it was bought by the Del Drago family (it still belongs to Lady Domietta del Drago), whose symbol is a dragon (not to be confused with the Boncompagni's dragon). The original building by Domenico Fontana was enlarged by Alessandro Specchi for Pope Clemens XI Albani.

SS. Anna e Gioacchino

SS. Anna e Gioacchino

The entrance to the Monastery of S. Carlo (image on the left) was designed by Francesco Borromini.
In the XVIIIth century there were at least seven monasteries aligned along Strada Pia. Only two of them still exist: S. Carlo by Francesco Borromini and S. Andrea al Quirinale by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. In the XVIIth century the Carmelites built next to S. Carlo a little monastery and a church dedicated to SS. Anna e Gioacchino. The church was inside the monastery and it did not have a fašade, although it had a direct entrance (central image) from the street. The church belonged for over a century to the Belgian Seminar which had a separate entrance (image on the right). The church is now deconsecrated.

Palazzo Galloppi

Palazzo Galloppi

In the early XVIIIth century the palace opposite to the monastery (Palazzo Galloppi) was largely modified and its entrance (image on the left) is almost a copy of Borromini's entrance. It has another entrance (central image) in the street between the palace and Giardini del Quirinale.

Excerpts from Giuseppe Vasi 1761 Itinerary related to this page:


Palazzo Albani
Corrisponde questo vasto palazzo su la strada felice, e su la strada pia di monte cavallo; facendo nobilissimo prospetto nella piazza, che dicesi delle quattro fontane. E' questo ornato di quadri, statue, e monumenti antichi, onde il gentilissimo Lettore troverÓ piacere, se da quel custode ricercherÓ di Vederle.
S. Carlo alle quattro fontane
Nell'altro angolo della riferita piazza si vede la detta chiesa con il convento de' frati riformati della Mercede Spagnoli, ingegnosamente ricavata con magnificenza, sebbene in poco sito dal Cav. Borromini. Nella chiesa evvi il quadro a destra dipinto da Giuseppe Milanese, quello nella cappella, che siegue, da Gio Domenico Perugino, e quello nell' altare maggiore Ŕ del Mignardi Franzese, il quale dipinse ancora la ss. Nunziata sopra la porta; quello nella cappelletta contigua Ŕ del Romanelli, e l'altro nella cappella, che siegue, Ŕ del suddetto Perugino.
A sinistra di questa evvi la chiesa di s. Anna, in cui vi Ŕ un quadro della Samaritana creduto opera del Baroccio.


Next plate in Book 2: Piazza Barberini
Next step in Day 2 itinerary: Chiesa di S. Andrea Apostolo e Noviziato de' Padri Gesuiti
Next step in your tour of Rione Trevi: Palazzo Barberini
Next step in your tour of Rione Monti: Chiesa di S. Bernardo alle Terme



Go to or to Book 2 or to The Coats of Arms of the Popes or to My Home Page on Baroque Rome or to My Home Page on Rome in the footsteps of an XVIIIth century traveller



All images © 1999 - 2003 by Roberto Piperno. Write to romapip@quipo.it