Main Jesuit church in Rome
Il Gesù, the mother church of the Jesuits in Rome, was built by the founder of the Jesuits himself, Ignatius of Loyola. Cardinal Alessandro Farnese financed the building, which was planned and executed by the architect Vignola. The exterior façade has both Renaissance and Baroque elements and was designed by Giacomo della Porta in 1573. The two statues in the niches represent Ignatius of Loyola and St. Francis Xavier. The church itself was designed in the style of the Counter-Reformation and, along with its magnificent decoration, is especially impressive with its huge dome over the intersection of the main and cross ship.
Inside the Church of Il Gesù
The interior of the church is also shaped by the nature of the counter-reformation. Rich jewellery, plasterwork, gilding, frescoes, marble and many sculptures and statues are a marvel for believers. Noteworthy is the baroque ceiling fresco "Triumph of the Name of Jesus" by Baciccia in the barrel vault of the nave. In the right transept is the altar of St. Francis Xavier, which was designed by Pietro da Cortona. The remains of St. Ignatius rest in the left transept under the altar of the Saint. The altar and tomb were built by the Jesuit Andrea Pozzo. The bust of St. Robert on the right side of the high altar was designed by Bernini.