Saturday, January 3, 2015

Rome: Sant'Agnese in Agone Postcards

About halfway through our visit, Ed and I attended a Baroque Christmas concert at Sant'Agnese in Agone, a 17th-century Baroque church, which faces onto the Piazza Navona, the site where the early Christian Saint Agnes was martyred in the ancient Stadium of Domitian. The name of this church is unrelated to the "agony" of the martyr: in agone was the ancient name of Piazza Navona (piazza in agone), and meant instead, from the Greek, "in the site of the competitions," because Piazza Navona was built on the form of an ancient Roman stadium on the Greek model, with one flat end, and was used for footraces. From "in agone," the popular use and pronunciation changed the name into "Navona," but other roads in the area kept the original name.

The first part of the aforementioned Christmas concert was held in the sacristy, which you can see here; after the church was closed, we proceeded to the nave.

From Rome & Vatican City (December 2014)

In base of this statue of St. Agnes, you can see flames at her feet, fire being one of the methods in which she was sentenced to death because of her resolute devotion to religious purity and refusal to marry; as a result of her consistent refusals, unnamed young men submitted her name to the authorities as a follower of Christianity. During her trial, from which Sempronius excused himself, another figure presides, sentencing her to death. When led out to die she was tied to a stake, but the bundle of wood would not burn, or the flames parted away from her, whereupon the officer in charge of the troops drew his sword and beheaded her, or, in some other texts, stabbed her in the throat.
From Rome & Vatican City (December 2014)

The church's high altar has a relief of the the Holy Family by Domenico Guidi (1625 - 1701), an Italian Baroque sculptor.

From Rome & Vatican City (December 2014)

The interior of the dome was something I almost missed; I needed to keep reminding myself to look up whenever I visited someplace new.

From Rome & Vatican City (December 2014)

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